The central leadership of the BJP has nominated a Member of Parliament and some leaders, who lost the last general elections in the region, to contest the upcoming Assembly elections.
Noted among the candidates is the MP from Cooch Behar, Nishit Pramanik, who will contest the elections from the Dinhata Assembly Constituency. Party sources said the sole idea is to beat the Trinamul Congress heavyweight Udayan Guho in the constituency.
The BJP has announced seven candidates out of the nine seats in Cooch Behar and four in Alipurduar, where voting will be held in the fourth phase on 10 April. However, district party leaders in Alipurduar have expressed reservations on the selection of the candidates.
As per the final list released from Delhi, Dadhiram Ray will contest from Mekhliganj, Sushil Barman from Mathabhanga, Sukumar Roy from Cooch Behar (Uttar), Baren Chandra Barman from Sitalkuchi, Dipak Kumar Roy from Sitai, MP Nishit Pramanik from Dinhata and district party president Maloti Rava from Tufanganj.
Alipurduar district BJP president Ganga Prasad Sharma openly expressed his anger after the names of the candidates were declared today.
While noted economist Ashok Lahiri has been selected as the candidate to contest the polls in the Alipurduar Assembly seat, Manoj Tigga and Bishal Lama have been named candidates for Madarihat and Kalchini Assembly seats, respectively. Manoj Oraon has been picked for Kumargrame, while the party did not announce its candidate for the Falakata Assembly seat today. Lama had recently switched sides to the BJP from the Bimal Gurung camp of the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha.
“I don’t know Ashok Lahiri. I never saw him attend a party programme. On the other hand, the party has made Bishal Lama, who joined the BJP only two days ago, the candidate for the Kalchini seat. My party neither consulted me nor informed me of their candidature,” Sharma told a press conference at the Alipurduar district party office.
“There is nothing against Manoj Oraon and Manoj Tigga as they are our party leaders,” Sharma added.
Notably, the BJP has earlier show-caused Sharma for comments he made on TMC leaders who joined the BJP recently.
Meanwhile, according to political observers, as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, following the Nandigram incident, has started campaigning from Kolkata and other districts on a wheelchair and by “showcasing her broken leg,” BJP leaders are set to counter the TMC over many issues, including Nandigram.
Paying tributes to farmers of Nandigram, who were shot dead during the then Left Front government, on this day in 2007, Darjeeling MP Raju Bista said: “The Nandigram hypocrisy of the TMC is exposed as well. The IPS officer responsible for the Nandigram firing, Satyajit Bandhopadhyay, who was chargesheeted by the CBI for killing innocent farmers, is today a frontline TMC leader. After coming to power, the TMC failed the people of Nandigram. Even 10 years after assuming power, TMC did nothing to help the people. Nandigram, like the rest of Bengal, is struggling to make ends meet.”
On the other hand, Cooch Behar MP, Pramanik, said: “Following party instructions, I am ready to fight the poll battle in Dinhata. I know the soil of Dinhata. People will vote for us, keeping in mind Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s welfare plans.”