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Bengal BJP leaders reach Delhi to finalise party candidates
New Delhi, March 3 - The BJP leadership in West Bengal, which is fighting a high octane Assembly polls to topple the Mamata Banerjee-led government in the eastern state, reached the national capital on Wednesday evening to finalise the party candidates for the ensuing elections.
BJP national General Secretary and West Bengal in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya, national Vice President Mukul Roy, state unit chief Dilip Ghosh and other members of the core committee for West Bengal reached Delhi to discuss the names they have shortlisted with BJP chief J.P. Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah before the list is placed before the Central Election Committee (CEC) for selection of party nominees.
The BJP CEC meet is scheduled on Thursday to finalise party candidates for 60 Assembly seats where polling will be held in the first two phases on March 27 and April 1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend the CEC meeting.
The BJP is working continuously to upstage the Trinamool government in West Bengal, especially after its impressive performance in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in which the party won 18 out of the 42 seats.
One of the high profile constituencies which will go to the polls in the second phase is Nandigram from where Chief Minister Banerjee is likely to contest. The BJP is likely to field one of Banerjee's former close aides and ex-Bengal minister Suvendu Adikari from there.
Earlier in the day, top leaders from West Bengal, including Vijayvargiya, co-incharges Arvind Menon and Amit Malviya, met to shortlist the names forwarded by the party's district units.
Sources in the party said that in the meeting, the Bengal leadership shortlisted an average of four to five names for each seat where polling will be held in the first two phases.
"The West Bengal leadership will brainstorm the shortlisted names with the central leadership, including Nadda and Shah, to narrow down the list of potential candidates before it is placed before the CEC meeting," a source said.
A senior party leader said that the opinion of Shah, who is actively involved with West Bengal polls, will be taken at every stage of decision making along with Nadda.
The BJP is planning to field young faces and professionals, including several eminent personalities from the Bengali film industry who recently joined the party. The party is also considering to field 19 Trinamool MLAs, including former minister Rajib Banerjee, who had joined the party in recent times.
"In recent times, the party has expanded its base across the state, especially after the 2014 general elections. We are confident of dislodging the 10-year rule of Trinamool in West Bengal," said a BJP leader.
Meanwhile, the BJP's Assam leadership also reached Delhi on Wednesday to discuss the finalisation of names of party for the Assembly polls in the state. Shah met Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, his deputy Himanta Biswa Sarma, BJP in-charge for the state Jay Panda and other leaders at Nadda'a residence on Wednesday.
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