New Delhi: The BJP on Thursday announced 157 candidates for the West Bengal Assembly polls. The list includes names of former Union minister Mukul Roy, Lok Sabha member Jagannath Sarkar, former state unit chief Rahul Sinha, footballer Kalyan Choubey and folk singer Ashim Sarkar.
Releasing the list of party candidates, BJP National General Secretary Arun Singh said the list includes 19 women and senior leaders Roy and Sinha. The BJP released two separate lists on Thursday, one having the names of 148 candidates and another with the names of nine candidates.
At a press conference at the party national headquarters, Union minister Debasree Chaudhary read out the names of the 148 candidates. Later on the BJP released another list of nine candidates which included two women.
"The names were finalized in the BJP Central Election Committee (CEC) meeting held on Wednesday under the chairmanship of party chief J P Nadda in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari and other members of the committee," Singh said.
The BJP has fielded its National Vice President and former Union Minister Mukul Roy from Krishnanagar Uttar, MP Sarkar from Santipur, Sinha from Habra and Dr Anirban Ganguly from Bolpur. The party fielded scientist Gobardhan Das from Purbasthali Uttar.
Sitting MLAs Saikat Panja (Monteswar), Asish Kumar Biswas (Krishnaganj), Sabyasachi Dutta (Bidhannagar), Shubrangshu Roy (Bijpur), Paban Singh (Bhatpara), Arindam Bhattacharya (Jagatdal), Sunil Singh (Noapara), Shilbhadra Datta (Khardaha), Joel Murmu (Habibpur), Jitendra Tiwari (Pandabeswar), Mihir Goswamy (Natabari), Baishali Dalmiya (Bally) and Swadhin Kumar Sarkar (Baisnabnagar) also figured in the list.
Folk singer Sarkar will contest from Haringhata and footballer Chaubey will contest from Maniktola.
The women candidates of the BJP are Sikha Chatterjee (Dabgram-Phulbari), Parno Maitra (Baranagar), Rajashree Rajbanshi (Madhyamgram), Dipika Chatterjee (Deganga), Chandima Roy (Hemtabad), Tanuja Chakraborty (Ashoknagar), Falguni Patra (Naihati), Kalita Majhi (Ausgram), Mausumi Das (Malatipur), Mafuja Khatun (Sagardighi), Kalpana Ghosh (Lalgola), Masuhara Khatun (Raninagar), Agnimitra Paul (Asansol Dakshin), Shreerupamitra Choudhury (Englishbazar), Rubiya Khatun (Domkal), Shikha Mitra Choudwari (Chowrangee), Priyanka Tibrewal (Entally), Mina Devi Purohit (Jorasanko) and Priya Saha (Sainthia).
Polling for the 294 seats of the West Bengal Assembly will be held in eight phases from March 27 to April 29. Counting of votes will take place on May 2.