BJP fields about 8 turncoats for LS elections in Bengal

Kolkata: The BJP has nominated around eight turncoats out of the 42 seats in the ongoing Lok Sabha candidates.

Party’s leaders have justified their decisions, citing “winnability and political strategy” as paramount considerations.

However, the nomination of turncoats has triggered protests and resentment against the BJP in certain regions. BJP had earlier also adopted a strategy of favouring turncoats over seasoned leaders in their candidate selections. BJP which had no robust organisation base in Bengal has increasingly been embracing the practice of endorsing turncoats, causing dissatisfaction among their loyal supporters.

BJP MP from Barrackpore, Arjun Singh, who returned to the saffron camp after defecting to the TMC two years ago, was re-nominated from the same seat. Tapas Roy, a four-term MLA from TMC, joined the BJP due to disagreements over candidate selection and was nominated from Kolkata North. Silbhadra Dutta, a two-term TMC MLA who had switched to the BJP ahead of the 2021 assembly polls, was nominated from the Dum Dum Lok Sabha seat this time.

Soumendu Adhikari, former TMC leader and chairman of TMC-led Kanthi municipality, is contesting from Kanthi on BJP’s ticket. He had switched sides after his elder brother Suvendu Adhikari joined the BJP. From the Howrah Lok Sabha seat, Rathin Chakraborty, a former TMC leader and ex-Mayor of Howrah, who joined the BJP ahead of the 2021 Assembly polls, has been nominated.

Soumitra Khan is contesting from Bishnupur Lok Sabha seat on BJP’s ticket. Khan had once been associated with Trinamool Congress. Nisith Pramanik who had once been a Trinamool Congress leader had switched to the BJP and became an MP from Cooch Behar. He is again contesting from the same seat on BJP’s ticket. Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress, in its roster of 42 candidates, has included four turncoats who are either elected representatives from other parties or joined the party in recent years.

Among the notable turncoats fielded by the TMC are Biswajit Das, Mukutmani Adhikari, and Krishna Kalyani, contesting from Bongaon, Ranaghat and Raiganj Lok Sabha seats respectively.

Another prominent candidate, Sujata Mondal from Bishnupur, is a former BJP leader and ex-wife of BJP MP Soumitra Khan.

Mondal unsuccessfully contested the assembly polls on a TMC ticket in 2021.

Actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha, who won the Asansol seat in a bypoll on a TMC ticket in 2022, has been renominated from the same seat. Sinha, a former Union minister and two-term BJP MP from Patna Sahib, had defected from the BJP to join the Congress ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls before joining the TMC in 2022.

Next Story
Share it