Kolkata: The Trinamool Congress jeered at the BJP on Sunday for drafting MPs, movie stars and even union ministers as candidates for the West Bengal elections as well as taking multiple rounds to announce its list of contenders. The BJP, however, brushed off the charge that the party lacked strong local candidates and said that the people of Bengal were “the real candidates”.
“Loving this slow unfolding of the WB BJP Candidate List soap opera. When ‘largest global political party’ lacks enough faces & strength to announce 294 names in one go for a state it claims it will sweep!” the party’s firebrand MP Mahua Moitra tweeted.
Her colleague Derek O’Brien also chimed in.
Parliamentarians including minister Babul Supriyo, Locket Chatterjee, Swapan Dasgupta and Nisith Pramanik were enlisted by the BJP on Sunday to contest the West Bengal elections that begin later this month, in the latest sign that the party is leaving no stone unturned in its high-stakes battle against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
In their second list of candidates for the West Bengal elections, the BJP announced the names of 27 candidates for the third phase and 38 candidates for the fourth phase of polls. Last week, the BJP had released its first list of 57 candidates.
Asked why the BJP was fielding MPs for the state elections and if she was upset, Locket Chatterjee said: “Nothing like that. This is the party’s order. I fought in 2016 as well. I lost. But now they have asked me to fight again. We have to do what the party asks of us.”
“The people of Bengal are the real candidates. We are just here to support them,” she added.
Responding to Mamata Banerjee’s comment that “a wounded tigress is more dangerous” in reference to her injury in Nandigram, she said, “I pray for her quick recovery. But there should not be politics on this… There are wounded tigers in every Bengal home. They will respond on the EVM box.”
Both she and Swapan Dasgupta also took to Twitter to welcome their nomination.
West Bengal will hold elections in record eight phases starting March 27 till April 29. Votes will be counted on May 2. The BJP has launched an all-out campaign to defeat two-time Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Trinamool Congress.