The BJP faced widespread protests from local workers after it announced the candidates list for the upcoming West Bengal Assembly election. The situation went out of control after the saffron camp fielded leaders who had joined the state’s BJP union after leaving the ruling Trinamool Congress, barely a few weeks ahead of the crucial contest in the state.
Ashok Lahiri was initially fielded from the north Bengal’s Alipurduar seat.
It triggered protests in the district by a section of angry BJP workers who staged an agitation against Lahiri’s candidature saying they would not accept any outsider on the seat.
On Thursday, the state unit of the BJP replaced its candidate Lahiri, a former Chief Economic Advisor to the central government.
Local BJP leader Suman Kanjilal replaced the noted economist on the seat. Sources in the BJP said that Lahiri is likely to be fielded from the Balurghat Assembly seat in South Dinajpur district.
The party is yet to announce candidates for five Assembly seats so far. These are – Balurghat, Rashbehari, Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong.
Similar protests also broke out at several other places across Bengal this week. BJP workers ransacked a party office in Panchla seat in Kolkata’s adjoining Howrah district, where Trinamool Congress turncoat Mohitlal Ghati was given the BJP ticket.
Disgruntled BJP activists had also staged protests outside the party’s election office at Hastings in Kolkata on Monday and Tuesday (March 15-16).
Angry supporters had also heckled senior party leaders such as Shiv Prakash, Mukul Roy and Arjun Singh during the protest programme.