Gearing up for upcoming assembly elections, the Bengal unit of the BJP has installed special boxes at the party headquarters in central Kolkata for potential candidates to apply for tickets. The boxes are currently sealed and will be opened when the party starts planning ticket allocations.
"These boxes have been placed for people to file their applications. We will only know at a later date what happens,” BJP’s state vice-president Pratap Banerjee told News18.
State unit president Dilip Ghosh said, "People can place their biodata in these boxes. We have not invited any applications so far, but people are coming on their own and submitting details. These boxes will be opened in due course for screening."
The BJP has set a target of 200+ seats in West Bengal with senior leader and Union home minister Amit Shah kicking off the campaign with a recent visit to the state during which he inducted political heavyweight Suvendu Adhikari, nine MLAs and a TMC MP into the BJP. Shah is likely to undertake another visit to Bengal in January.
After having a limited presence in the politically polarised state for decades, the BJP emerged as the main rival of the ruling Trinamool Congress, winning 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the 2019 general election.
During his recent visit, Shah had declared that a “son of the soil” from BJP will challenge Mamata Banerjee in the elections, countering the TMC’s ‘outsider’ attack on the saffron party. The controversy over the attack on BJP chief JP Nadda’s convoy and the subsequent tug-of-war over central summons to three IPS officers has further heated the poll pitch.