Alipurduar district president of the Bharatiya Janata Party Ganga Prasad Sharma today softened his stand on the selection of party candidates for the Assembly elections in the district.
Among the candidates are noted economist Ashok Kumar Lahiri, who has been declared the candidate for the Alipurduar seat, and Bishal Lama, the former Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (Bimal Gurung camp) leader who joined the BJP very recently.
Lahiri has experience in working with top institutions like Bandhan Bank, Asian Development Bank, World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Lahiri, a former student of the Hindu School and Presidency College in Kolkata, was also a member of the 15th Finance Commission of India.
Sharma had openly expressed his anger at the candidate selection yesterday and said that he was not consulted by the party in choosing them.
However, the BJP district president today welcomed the candidature and said that Lahiri was a “man of high quality and profile.”
“We heartily welcome him. Our workers have already started campaigning for him in the Alipurduar Assembly constituency,” said Sharma today.
Lahiri, however, did not want to comment on the controversy that had surrounded his candidature.
“I will go to Alipurduar and visit people at their doorsteps, so that they know me and judge me. I will then accept their verdict,” Lahiri said over the phone from Kolkata. “Development requires planning, and I cannot say I will provide jobs to one lakh youths in a breath like a general politician. Development also requires some visit and thoughtful action plan. I will reach the district and find out everything,” he added.
“I think I can do something for Alipurduar and Bengal as a whole,” Lahiri said.
According to him, he is in Kolkata presently and will arrive in the district very soon and that his party will decide on the date. “I have visited Alipurduar during my childhood,” he added.