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One in every four BJP candidates in Bengal a 'defector'

IANS  |  Kolkata 

Making a feverish pitch for a spectacular show in West Bengal, the BJP has not battled an eyelid in fielding defectors from other parties in the ongoing polls, while ten per cent of its nominees are even non-Bengalis.

The candidates in at least 10 of the state's 42 constituencies have been imported from other parties, or are fresh recruits into the saffron fold.

was candid enough in admitting that the party - now in an expansion mode - has to rely on new recruits.

"We have expanded over the last three years. As it happens with a fast-growing party, many have joined our fold in the last two or three years. Many others are joining now, from other parties. Our leadership has given tickets to them after considering their suitability," he said.

The list of political turncoats welcomed with the party ticket includes two sitting MPs from state's ruling Trinamool

Anupam Hazra, a member of the outgoing from Bolpur, is in the fray from Jadavpur after crossing over to the BJP following his expulsion from the Trinamool for "anti-party activities".

Another former Trinamool secured the saffron party's nomination from his old constituency Bishnupur though he is barred from entering the district for six weeks by the due to ongoing criminal cases against him.

Khan, was, however, allowed to file his nomination by the court, but the bar on his entry into most areas of the constituency remained, forcing his wife to do the campaigning on his behalf.

Arjun Singh, a Trinamool 'strongman' and MLA from Bhatpara, crossed over to the BJP days after the party leadership turned down his plea for being nominated as a candidate from Barrackpore seat. The saffron party promptly made him its candidate from Barrackpore to oppose former

In North Bengal's Cooch Behar, the saffron party gave the poll ticket to Nisith Pramanik, a former Trinamool youth leader against whom, at one time, BJP workers had a litany of complaints.

Again Khagen Murmu, a three-term CPI-M MLA, joined BJP and became its candidate from Malda North.

Formerly a two-time CPI-M lawmaker, Mafuja Khatun's nomination from Jangipur in district made her the only Muslim woman candidate nominated by the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

In Jangipur's neighbouring constituency Murshaidabad, the BJP chose another turncoat - Humayun Kabir, a former in the Trinamool government, who came into the BJP fold last year.

Even in the high-profile constituency of Diamond Harbour, from where Chief Mamata Banerjee's nephew and perceived heir is in the race for Trinamool, the BJP has opted for Nilanjan Roy, a deserter.

Though he is not a turncoat, BJP candidate from Darjeeling Raju was given the tag of "outsider" by his opponents throughout the poll campaign. An RSS man, the Manipur-born Bisht is an who resides in

From Ghatal in district, the BJP nominee is retired - once known for her proximity to Banerjee and against whom the BJP had a long list of complaints when she was the Ghosh was declared a party candidate only days after she pitched her lot with the BJP.

She took on Trinamool candidate and leading Bengali film hero Deepak Adhikari (Dev), the sitting

Of the BJP candidates - Bisht, Arjun Singh, and - are Hindi-speaking, while (Burdwan-Durgapur) is a Sikh who is as much adept in Bengali as he is in Hindi and Punjabi.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, May 16 2019. 20:20 IST