Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday released the list of candidates for the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth phases of West Bengal assembly elections. A total of 148 candidates have been named in the list.
Including in the list, Mukul Roy, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s former right-hand man and now a national vice-president of the BJP, will be contesting an election for the first time since 2001, from Krishnanagar North Assembly seat in Nadia district.
The last time Roy had contested an election was in 2001, from Jagatdal Assembly constituency in his home district of North 24-Parganas. He lost to the Forward Bloc’s Haripada Biswas by a margin of 13,402 votes.
“It seems he was given a safe seat so that he did not have to concern himself much with winning his own seat and could give enough time to the party’s Bengal campaign. The party wanted to field him to spread the message among the masses about the seriousness of the party’s intent in winning the elections,” said a senior leader of the state BJP.
Apart from Roy, the BJP on Thursday named its Ranaghat MP Jagannath Sarkar, former TMC MLAs Sabyasachi Dutta, Biswajit Kundu, Saikat Panja, Jitendra Tiwari, Silbhadra Dutta and Arindam Bhattacharya, former India footballer Kalyan Choubey, actors Rudranil Ghosh, Tanushree Chakraborty, Parno Mitra, Bengal BJP veterans Rahul Sinha and Samik Bhattacharya and BJP state unit leaders Raju Banerjee and Agnimitra Paul as Assembly election candidates, among others.
Anirban Ganguly, an important member of the saffron party’s think-tank who has been playing an instrumental role in framing the party’s Bengal strategy, has been fielded from Bolpur.