While the former Chief Economic Advisor to the Government of India, Ashok Lahiri and Lt General Subrata Saha were among the 13 candidates whose names were announced by the BJP on March 23, film-star turned politician, Mithun Chakravarty could not figure in the list.
Ashok Lahiri, a member of the 15th Finance Commission, who was earlier pitted to contest from Alipurduar, was forced by the party to withdraw following widespread protest from within the BJP. The ticket was finally allotted to the Alipurduar unit general secretary of the BJP, Suman Kanjilal.
In the final list announced on Tuesday Ashok Lahiri has been made candidate from Balurghat seat. On the other hand, Lt General Saha has been fielded from Rashbehari constituency in south Kolkata.
However, the surprise omission is the name of Mithun Chakravarty, who had joined the BJP on March 7 and shared dais with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on that day. He had recently got his name enrolled in the voter list.
According to sources, it was earlier expected that Mithun may be made candidate from Rashbehari seat but now Gen. Saha, former Commander of Srinagar based 15 Corps, has been fielded. The BJP has also announced the names of candidates from Chowringhee and Kashipur-Belgachia as the two candidates it had earlier fielded rejected the offer on the plea that they are either in Congress or TMC and had never sought ticket from the saffron party. The new candidates are Debrabrata Majhi from Chowringhee and Shivaji Singha Roy from Belgachia.
It needs to be mentioned that in the earlier list the party had made Shikha Mitra Chowdhury, widow of former West Bengal Congress president Somendranath Mitra, as the candidate from Chowringhee and Tarun Saha, husband of local TMC MLA Mala Saha, from Belgachia.