The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in alliance with some regional parties, will contest all 294 seats of the West Bengal Assembly in the elections due to commence in Aril. The party does not occupy a single seat in the present Assembly.

“We will contest all the 294 Assembly seats in alliance with some well-known parties in North Bengal and some small parties in South Bengal,” said Ashim Sarkar, State General Secretary of the party.

However, he declined to name the parties with which the BJP would be forming an alliance.

Though the BJP does not have an MLA in the present State Assembly, senior party leader Jaswant Singh had been elected to Parliament from Darjeeling in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. His candidature was backed by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM).

The party also managed to increase its presence in the Kolkata Municipal Corporation by one ward in the State civic polls in May 2010.

The BJP State Election Committee met during the day. Mr. Sarkar said that Rahul Sinha, president of the State unit of the party, would submit the list of candidates — which was to be finalised at the meeting — to the BJP Parliamentary Board on Thursday.

The first list of candidates would be announced after it had been ratified by the Board in Delhi. The BJP's State Election Committee would again meet on March 14 to prepare the second list , following which the final list would be readied, Mr. Sarkar said.

Stating that the BJP was expecting an increase in its vote-share, Mr. Sarkar said the party's national leadership, including L.K. Advani, would be campaigning during the coming elections.