WB Polls: BJP Replaces Alipurduar Candidate After Local Protests

The former Chief Economic Advisor, named in BJP’s first list, was replaced with local strongman Suman Kanjilal.

West Bengal
1 min read
 Ashok Lahiri

Following protests from party local supporters, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday, 18 March, withdrew its candidate Ashok Lahiri from north Bengal’s Alipurduar.

The former Chief Economic Advisor, named in the party’s first list, was replaced with local strongman Suman Kanjilal in the list released on Thursday. The party ran into trouble after it fielded recently recruited leaders, who had previously been members of the state's ruling Trinamool Congress.

Lahiri is reportedly expected to be among the last section of candidates fielded by the BJP, NDTV reported.

The party is yet to announce candidates for Balurghat, Rashbehari, Darjeeling, Kurseong, and Kalimpong constituencies.

Lahiri was reportedly pulled out of the Alipurduar seat due to a conflict of caste interests. He is likely to be fielded from Balurghat in the South Dinajpur district, sources told NDTV.


Earlier this week, protests had broken out in several places, including the party’s election office in Kolkata, where police used batons to bring the the situation under control. Agitated party supporters had gathered at the office, where they heckled senior leaders Mukul Roy, Arjun Singh, and Shiv Prakash. They were joined by protesters from Howrah's Udaynarayanpur.

Crowds flocked at South 24 Parganas in the evening as well. Angry BJP workers ransacked the party office at Hooghly district’s Singur and the district headquarters office at Chinsura.

This comes despite the BJP publicising Lahiri's candidature. A member of the 15th Finance Commission, Lahiri, had the experience of working with former finance ministers Yashwant Sinha and P Chidambaram.

(With inputs from NDTV.)

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