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States » East

Major fillip to BJP ahead of Lok Sabha election

Major fillip to BJP ahead of Lok Sabha election

Kolkata, Mar 15 (UNI) With the joining of Trinamool Congress (TMC) strongman and

Bhatpara MLA Arjun Singh to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday, the saffron

party received a major boost in the run-up to the General elections in the eastern


Mr Singh, who has been state legislator for 18 long years since 2001 from

Bhatpara Assembly constituency, is likely to contest from his bastion Barrackpore

Lok Sabha constituency.

His switch-over to the BJP came as a big setback to the TMC as Mr Singh was

the oldest and most influential leader of the Hindi wing in TMC and weilds

considerable influence in the Barrackpore region.

Mr Singh was looking forward to becoming the Trinamool candidate from

Barrackpore Parliamentary Constituency for the 2019 General Election but TMC

supremo Mamata Banerjee thought that Dinesh Trivedi is the fittest contender,

After joining the BJP, Mr Singh said, "I am ready to be real Arjun and play the

game when Mukul da (ex-TMC number 2 Mukul Roy) is my Krishna around. "

In its quest to win 22 seats out of total 42 seats Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal

— a target set by BJP national president Amit Shah for the 2019 polls — the BJP

has adopted a 'cloak-and-dagger policy' to poach a significant number of Trinamool

Congress (TMC) heavyweights to its fold.

Earlier, TMC lost two MPs to rival BJP. Saumitra Khan, who represented the

Bishnupur constituency, and Bolpur MP Anupam Hazra.

Bagada legislator Dulal Chandra Bar of the Congress and Habibpur MLA Khagen

Murmu of the CPI(M) also joined the BJP.

Besides these five leaders, various members of a minority community from

Bengal joined the BJP.

BJP, which has two MPs from the state, S S Ahluwalia (Darjeeling) and Babul

Supriyo (Asansol), was on the lookout for known faces to contest for the Lok Sabha

polls as the party is aggressively trying to improve its tally in the state.

According to political experts, both Asansol and Darjeeling have become difficult

seats for the sitting MPs.

Since BJP lacks faces in Bengal, the party’s best bet is to poach sitting MPs,

which will damage the ruling TMC in the 42-seat state.

BJP has identified the state as one of the priority states and party chief Amit

Shah has set a target of 22 seats, even as BJP leaders claim that the hope is to

improve the tally from two to 10 seats.

The party sources said that it is targeting Lok Sabha constituencies in Purulia,

Bankura, Bardhaman Purba, Medinipur, Jhargram, Barasat, Howrah, Hooghly as

well as urban bases like Kolkata Uttar.


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