BJP’s nomination of Pawan Singh from Asansol Lok Sabha seat triggers outrage

In the list of 20 names the BJP fielded nine siting MPs and three MLAS. State BJP chief Sukanta Majumdar will be contesting again from Balurghat; Union Ministers of State Nisith Pramanik, Subhas Sarkar and Shanatanu Thakur will contest from Coochbehar, Bankura and Bongaon, respectively

March 02, 2024 11:29 pm | Updated March 03, 2024 12:23 am IST - Kolkata

Pawan Singh.

Pawan Singh. | Photo Credit: X/@PawanSingh909

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on March 2 announced the names of 20 candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha election in West Bengal which included Bhojpuri actor and singer Pawan Singh from Asansol Lok Sabha seat. The nomination of Pawan Singh triggered strong reaction and outrage in political circles with leaders from Opposition parties raising questions on the content created by the singer and songs allegedly denigrating ‘Bengali women’ .

Not only the leaders of Trinamool Congress but also from other political groups raised concerns about the BJP’s pick for Asansol. “My head bends in shame after looking at the content created and propagated by BJP’s Asansol Lok Sabha candidate. The doom’s day of democracy is quite near!” Congress leader and senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi posted on social media. Trinamool Congress Minister and former Asansol MP Babul Supriyo also took to social media and said that the nomination of Pawan Singh “in terms of offending Bengali women & painting them in an utterly disrespectful light in Film titles & Songs” shows the insensitivity of the BJP. Bollywood veteran Shatrughan Sinha is the sitting Trinamool Congress MP from Asansol who won the by-election at Asansol in April 2022 with a margin of over three lakh votes after Babul Supriyo resigned as the BJP MP and joined Trinamool Congress.

Many political observers pointed out that the nomination of Pawan Singh may serve as a “self-goal” for the BJP which is trying to ride the sentiment at Sandeshkhali where allegations of sexual assault has been made at local leaders of Trinamool Congress.

In the list of 20 names the BJP fielded nine siting MPs and three MLAS. The significant names among the nine sitting MPs include State BJP president Sukanta Majumdar, who will be contesting again from the Balurghat Lok Sabha seat; and Union Ministers of State Nisith Pramanik from Coochbehar, Subhas Sarkar from Bankura, and Shantanu Thakur from Bongaon, respectively.

The party has renominated Locket Chatterjee from the Hooghly Lok Sabha seat; Jyotirmoy Singh Mahato from Purulia; Jagnnath Sarkar from Ranaghat; and Khagen Murmu from Malda Uttar. John Barla, the sitting MP from Alipurduar, has been dropped by the party.

The party has also fielded three sitting MLAs — Manoj Tigga from Alipurduar, actor turned politician Hiranmoy Chatterjee from Ghatal, and Sreerupa Mitra Choudhury from Malda Dakshin. While Mr. Tigga is BJP Chief Whip in the West Bengal Assembly, Mr. Chatterjee has been fielded from Ghatal, a constituency which has been represented by actor Dipak Adhikari alias Dev for the past two terms.

Soumendu Adhikari, the brother of the Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, has been nominated from the Kanthi Lok Sabha seat. Mr. Suvendu Adhikari’s father Sisir Adhikari is the Trinamool Congress MP from Kanthi.

The BJP has nominated Priya Saha from the Bolpur Lok Sabha seat. The list includes three women, the others being Ms. Chatterjee and Ms. Mitra Chowdhury.

BJP leader Anirban Ganguly has been fielded from the Jadavpur Lok Sabha seat. Mr. Ganguly had contested from the Bolpur Assembly seat in the 2021 Assembly seat. There are 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal and the BJP had won 18 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

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