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As Mamata intensifies battle against Modi, BJP tries to identify candidates for LS polls
West Bengal

As Mamata intensifies battle against Modi, BJP tries to identify candidates for LS polls

Agency News

New Delhi, Jan 19: Amid Mamata Banerjee’s much talked about and hyped anti-BJP rally in Kolkata, BJP sources indicated on Saturday here that the party is well geared up for 2019 elections and has shortlisted a number of prominent faces for the electoral battle.

According to BJP sources, the list of candidates for the fast approaching Lok Sabha elections will include cine stars and turncoats from Trinamool Congress and even Forward Bloc.

The names like Locket Chatterjee, Moushumi Chatterjee and sitting Lok Sabha MP from Asansol Babul Supriyo figure among the names short listed to take on Mamata Banerjee’s candidates.

Mr Supriyo, Union MoS for Heavy Industries, would be in probability seek re-election from Asansol. However, there are talks that the playback singer-turned-politician may also move to nearby Bardhaman-Durgapur parliamentary seat in south Bengal.

Noted Bollywood actress Moushumi Chatterjee, who joined the BJP earlier this month, may be BJP nominee from Birbhum – which is at present being represented by actress and Trinamool lawmaker Shatabdi Roy. BJP nominee in 2014 was Bengal cinema actor-turned-politician Joy Banerjee.

Locket Chatterjee of Bengali TV and film fame is BJP Women Wing president in West Bengal and may be fielded from Bakura. At present another cine star Moon Moon Sen is representing the seat. The constituency was earlier a noted Marxists' den having returned Basudeb Acharia number of times.

“There is a possibility of fielding Locket Chatterjee from Birbhum also,” sources said.

BJP state unit chief Dilip Ghosh, sitting Kharagpur MLA, may contest from Medinipur parliamentary constituency. Prabhakar Tiway was BJP nominee in 2014 and the seat is at present being represented by actress-turned-Trinamool leader Sandhya Roy.

Another prominent face and BJP leader in the state Rahul Sinha may again try his electoral fortune from North Kolkata. In 2014, he finished second against Trinamool strongman Sudip Bandyopadhyay and importantly from the saffron party’s poll strategy – the CPI(M) nominee Rupa Bagchi in the constituency could bag only 196,549 votes to finish third. Mr Sinha had won 247,461 votes as against 33,687 votes by Sudip Bandyopadhyay.

Sources said another key leader of the party Samik Bhattarcharjee may be saffron party’s candidate from Dumdum in Kolkata. The seat is at present represented by Saugata Roy of Trinamool Congress.

For Bishnupur parliamentary seat, the saffron party in all likelihood will field the incumbent lawmaker Saumitra Khan, a former Trinamool leader who lately joined the BJP.

Sitting Trinamool MP Anupam Hazra may join the BJP and contest from the Bolpur seat. Mr Hazra was expelled by the Trinamool leadership on January 9.

The name of BJP Youth Wing chief in the state Debjit Sarkar is reportedly being considered for Raiganj Lok Sabha seat. The constituency is at present being represented by CPI-M leader Mohammed Salim. BJP nominee Nimu Bhowmick had finished third, bagging 2,03,131 votes as against 3,17,515 by Mr Salim and 315,881 by Congress leader Deepa Dasmunshi.

The victory margin for Mr Salim was mere 1634 votes and analysts say good performance by the BJP had made CPI-M’s task easier to win the seat.

The nominated member Anglo Indian George Baker, also a former cine star, may be fielded from Howrah or Barasat parliamentary constituency. He had unsuccessfully contested from Howrah in 2014 but could finish only number three.

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s kin Chandra Bose, who was BJP nominee against Mamata Banerjee in 2016 assembly polls from Bhawanipur constituency may be fielded from Jadavpur or South Kolkata constituency.

Humanyun Kabir, a turncoat from Congress and Trinamool Congress, may be fielded from Murshidabad. A former Trinamool Minister in the state Kabir is now a prominent face in the party from the region.

Mr Kabir had joined the Congress after he was expelled by the Trinamool leadership in 2015 for his alleged anti-party activities. He later claimed that the people in West Bengal are looking for a genuine alternative to Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool and see the BJP as a credible party to do so.

For Bakura Lok Sabha seat, another ticket aspirant is Dr Subhas Sarkar.

Former Forward Bloc leader Narhari Mahato will be likely BJP candidate from Purulia. The saffron party had put up impressive show during the 2018 local body polls in the region – adjoining Jharkhand.

The saffron party strategists are working out details for suitable candidates for seats like Bangaon, Balurghat, Jhargram and Ranaghat. (UNI)