34 West Bengal legislators went from TMC to BJP – only 13 of them got tickets to contest the election for the saffron party
Business Insider India
- With the West Bengal assembly elections all set to begin on March 27, we take a look at all the TMC legislators who left the party to join the BJP.
- Surprisingly, out of the 34 legislators who joined its ranks after leaving the TMC, BJP has given tickets to only 13 of them.
- This includes heavyweights like Suvendu Adhikari, who was a close aide of chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
- Some of these nominations have also caused anger in the BJP cadre.
AdvertisementAs the race to the West Bengal elections heats up, there has been a flurry of leaders from the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) joining the ranks of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The list of leaders leaving TMC for the BJP includes some prominent names like Suvendu Adhikari, Mukul Roy and celebrity-turned-politician Mithun Chakraborty.
The West Bengal assembly elections are scheduled to be held in eight phases between March 27 to April 29.
In total, 34 TMC legislators have left the party to join the BJP – either due to differences with the party, being denied a ticket this time or due to the belief that their future lies with the BJP, not TMC.
Surprisingly, out of the 34 legislators who joined its cadre, the saffron party has given tickets to only 13 of them. The most prominent names who have not been given a ticket include former member of parliament (MP) Dinesh Trivedi and actor Mithun Chakraborty, among others.
Here are the key constituencies where past TMC leaders are fighting for the BJP
Nandigram – Suvendu Adhikari vs Mamata Banerjee
Nandigram will be the heart of the Battle for Bengal between the TMC and BJP. This is the constituency where the current chief minister Mamata Banerjee will have a face-off with Suvendu Adhikari, her former trusted aide and one of the main faces of the Nandigram movement.
It was the Nandigram movement -- protests against the then government’s land acquisition efforts for a special economic zone (SEZ) -- that helped the TMC and Mamata Banerjee end the 34-year rule of the Left Front. Will this assembly election once again prove to be the end of another rule – this time, TMC’s? Time will tell, but it shows the importance of this assembly seat for both the parties.
Krishnanagar North – Mukul Roy vs Koushani Mukherjee
Mukul Roy, the former right-hand man of Mamata Banerjee, will be contesting from the Krishnanagar North seat. This will be Roy’s first election in 20 years – his last was in 2001 from the Jagatdal assembly constituency where he lost to Haripada Biswas.
Roy will be contesting against Koushani Mukherjee, actor-turned-politician who joined the TMC in January, this year.
AdvertisementDomjur – Rajib Banerjee vs Kalyanendu Ghosh
Rajib Banerjee, former minister in Mamata Banerjee’s cabinet joined the BJP in January this year. He was elected twice from the Domjur constituency – in 2011 and again in 2016. He will be facing off against TMC’s Kalyanendu Ghosh.
Bally – Baishali Dalmiya vs Dr. Rana Chatterjee
Baishali Dalmiya was expelled from the TMC for speaking out against the party. She is the daughter of late Jagmohan Dalmiya, former cricket administrator and BCCI president. She will be taking on Dr. Rana Chatterjee from TMC.
Diamond Harbour – Dipak Halder vs Pannalal Halder
Dipak Halder, a two-time TMC legislator quit the party after speaking out for months against it. He said he was “not being allowed to work for the masses” since 2017. He joined BJP in February, this year. Dipak Halder and Pannalal Halder are not related to each other.
Singur – Rabindranath Bhattacharya vs Becharam Manna
AdvertisementRabindranath Bhattacharya quit TMC earlier this month and is being fielded by the BJP from the Singur constituency, despite strong opposition by the party’s cadre who have accused him of getting them arrested when he was the TMC legislator.
Ranaghat Uttar Paschim – Partha Sarathi Chatterjee vs Sankar Singha
The 62-year-old Partha Sarathi Chatterjee was a former TMC legislator from Ranaghat in 2011. He lost the seat in 2016 to Sankar Singha, who fought on a Congress ticket. Interestingly, Singha has joined TMC and will be defending his seat this year.
Jagatdal – Arindam Bhattacharya vs Somnath Shyam
Arindam Bhattacharya, a lawyer by profession, will be fighting for the Jagatdal seat on a BJP ticket. He currently represents the Santipur constituency, but this year will see him switch to Jagatdal.
Natabari – Mihir Goswami vs Rabindra Nath Ghosh
Mihir Goswami, who currently represents the Cooch Behar Dakshin constituency, will switch to Natabari and fight on a BJP ticket. He will take on TMC’s Rabindra Nath Ghosh, who is the incumbent Natabari legislator.
Monteswar – Saikat Panja vs Siddiqullah Chowdhury
Saikat Panja is the incumbent legislator from the Monteswar constituency, which he won with an overwhelming majority in the 2016 by-election. He will be facing off TMC’s Siddiqullah Chowdhury, who is also the West Bengal president of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind.
Kalna – Biswajit Kundu vs Deboprasad Bag
The saffron party is fielding Biswajit Kundu, who joined BJP earlier this year. Ironically, Kundu’s nomination triggered a mass switch of 70 party workers to the TMC, who protested against Kundu’s corruption.
Pandabeswar – Jitendra Tiwari vs Narendranath Chakraborty
Jitendra Tiwari, a TMC heavyweight, joined the BJP after rebelling against the TMC leadership. His entry was initially opposed by BJP minister and popular singer Babul Supriyo, given that both the politicians had faced off in the Asansol constituency earlier.
AdvertisementDurgapur Purba – Diptangshu Chowdhury vs Pradip Mazumdar
Diptangshu Chowdhury, another senior TMC leader and former advisor to the chief minister, left TMC to fight on a BJP ticket from the Durgapur Purba constituency. Interestingly, Chowdhury was earlier with the BJP before switching to the TMC in 2017.
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