A BJP delegation with a list of potential Assembly poll candidates will travel in a chartered flight to New Delhi to meet their top central leaders and discuss the final list.
The delegation comprises BJP national vice-president Mukul Roy, national secretary and state observer Kailash Vijayvarigiya, national joint secretary Shiv Prakash, IT cell head Amit Malviya, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh, senior leader Amitava Chakraborty, Rahul Sinha state committee member Subhendu Adhikari Rajib Banerjee, Anupam Hazra, Arvind Menon.
They are slated to hold a meeting with party chief JP Nadda and other central leaders to discuss the matter. Sources said the list of the candidate has been finalized during a state level meeting today. Around 300 names have been selected during the state-level meeting and it would be narrowed down in Delhi for final list. A party source said slain BJP leader Manish Shukla’s father Chandramoni Shukla could contest from Barrackpore Assembly constituency and former TMC MLA Shilbhandra Dutta could contest from Kharda and former Pandabeswar MLA Jitendra Tiwari could contest from the same Assembly constituency. Former minister Rajib Banerjee could contest from Domjur.
BJP’s central election committee will meet tomorrow to finalize its list of candidates for five Assembly polls, with top party leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, expected to attend the meeting. The party is likely to determine its candidates for the first phase of elections, on 27 March, in Assam and West Bengal.
Meanwhile, a day after TMC leader and ex-Asansol mayor and Pandaveswar MLA Jitendra Tiwari joined BJP, three councillors of the Asansol muncipality- Amit Tulsiyan, Sadhan Pal and Bapi Huila-joined the saffron party today at its election office at Hastings in presence of Ghosh who handed them the party flags.
Ghosh also said BJP may announce the final candidates’ list by 4 or 5 March. Series of meeting are being held by the BJP senior leaders to decide the candidates.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has scoffed at BJP calling it ‘outsiders’ who undermine the culture of West Bengal and has scant idea of the state’s history. Today, BJP retorted to the ‘outsider’ jibe after Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav and Bihar Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Tejashwi Yadav have pledged their support for Miss Banerjee in the Assembly polls starting 27 March.
“According to you BJP is outsider. But are RJD, SP and NCP, who are supporting you, from Bengal? Pishi (aunt) your only problem is Modi and everyone knows it,” the BJP’s Bengal unit tweeted on Wednesday.