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1-min read

Turncoats, Newcomers Rule the Roost in New BJP Candidate List

Protests erupted in various parts of West Bengal after the BJP, in its first list of 28 candidates, nominated veterans and several defectors from the ruling TMC to take on Mamata Banerjee's party.

PTI

Updated:March 26, 2019, 10:49 PM IST
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Turncoats, Newcomers Rule the Roost in New BJP Candidate List
Representative Image. (Reuters)
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Kolkata: The BJP, in its fresh list of 10 candidates for the Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal, continued to restore faith on turncoats and newcomers, including a leader from the politically-significant Matua community.

In the latest list released on Tuesday, the BJP nominated two turncoats from the Congress and the Trinamool Congress. Earlier in its list of 30 candidates, the saffron party had nine turncoats from the TMC, the CPI(M) and the Congress.

With an eye on Matua votes, the BJP has fielded late Binapani Devi's grandson Shantanu Thakur, an emerging leader of the community, from the Bongaon Lok Sabha constituency against his aunt and sitting TMC MP Mamata Bala Thakur.

While nominating Shantanu Thakur from the seat, it overlooked the candidature of K D Biswas, a Matua himself, and a regular BJP face in the area for the past one decade.

The Matuas originally hail from the erstwhile East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, and began migrating to West Bengal at the beginning of the 1950s, mostly due to religious persecution.

With an estimated population of 30 lakh in the state, Matuas can influence results in at least four Lok Sabha seats in Nadia, North and South 24 Parganas districts.

In Murshidabad district, the BJP has nominated Humayun Kabir from the seat.

Kabir, who had been an MLA of the Congress, switched over to the TMC in 2013 and became a minister in the state cabinet. In 2017, he joined the BJP.

In the Diamond Harbour seat, the saffron party has fielded Nilanjan Roy, who recently switched over from the Congress, against heavyweight TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee, the nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

The BJP nominated former journalist Rantidev Sengupta, considered close to the RSS, in the Howrah Lok Sabha seat.

In Uluberia, it has pitched national executive member Joy Banerjee, who will take on TMC's Sajda Ahmed.

Protests erupted in various parts of West Bengal after the BJP, in its first list of 28 candidates, nominated veterans and several defectors from the ruling TMC to take on Mamata Banerjee's party in the state. The protesters had gathered outside BJP offices in various parts of West Bengal, and in some places, put up posters of rejected ticket seekers.

BJP state vice-president Raj Kamal Pathak submitted his resignation after he was denied a party ticket.
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