BJP releases list of 13 nominees, Mithun's name missing
Kolkata: BJP on Tuesday released another list of 13 candidates, featuring prominent personalities from different walks of life but not naming actor Mithun Chakraborty—who joined the party recently— as a nominee from any of the seats. The party announced candidates for 11 seats and changed nominees for two constituencies. BJP is, however, yet to declare names of candidates in about six seats.
Following protests by party workers, BJP pulled out former Chief Economic Advisor Ashok Lahiri's candidature from Alipurduar seat and fielded him from Balurghat in South Dinajpur district. Party workers in Balurghat are also upset over Lahiri's candidature. Lahiri was replaced with local leader Suman Kanjilal from the Alipurduar seat last week.
The party fielded former Deputy Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General (retired) Subrata Saha from Rashbehari seat in South Kolkata. Trinamool Congress (TMC) had fielded Debasish Kumar—the former member of the Board of Administrators in Kolkata Municipal Corporation—from the Rashbehari seat.
The saffron party also fielded new candidates from Chowrangee and Kashipur–Belgachia seats, after its earlier nominees refused their tickets. Nominations were given to Sikha Mitra, wife of former state Congress president Somen Mitra, from Chowrangee and Tarun Saha, husband of TMC MLA Mala Saha, from Kashipur–Belgachia. In an embarrassment to the party, both Mitra and Saha had refused their tickets and said they did not join the party. Debabrata Majhi, will now contest from Chowrangee. Sibaji Singha Roy will contest from Kashipur–Belgachia.
Despite protests over new entrants getting more importance than old-timers in the candidates' list, the saffron party gave a nomination to Biswajit Das, who was a TMC MLA from Bongaon (Uttar) and had joined the BJP some
time back. Das will contest from Bagda constituency as a BJP candidate. To woo the Matua voters, the party fielded Subrata Thakur—brother of BJP MP Shantanu Thakur and grandson of Matua chief Binapani Devi—from Gaighata. Earlier, BJP tried to pursue Shantanu, party's MP, to contest from the seat but he refused.
The party apparently refused to allow Suvendu Adhikari to contest from Baharampur in Murshidabad. The BJP, instead, fielded Subrata Moitra to contest from the seat.
In view of the tough opponent in Nandigram, Suvendu had reportedly approached the state leaders to field him from Baharampur. But, the Central leadership refused to accept his proposal as they thought it would send a wrong message to the people, sources added. Subhas Singha will fight from Karandighi while Amit Kumar Kundu will fight from Itahar. Biswajit Das, and Ashok Kirtaniya will contest from Bagda and Bongaon North respectively.