Kolkata, May 23 (IANS) Jumping parties has augured well for most of BJP candidates, who defected either from state’s ruling Trinamool Congress or the Left parties, as they were in the lead in the Lok Sabha polls, according to the Election Commission data on Thursday.
The BJP candidates in at least 10 of the state’s 42 constituencies have been imported from other parties, or are fresh recruits into the saffron fold.
Arjun Singh, a Trinamool ‘strongman’ and former MLA from Bhatpara, was leading over his nearest candidate for Trinamool and former Union Minister Dinesh Trivedi by a slender margin in the Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat.
Singh crossed over to the BJP days after the party leadership turned down his plea for being nominated as a candidate from Barrackpore.
Former Trinamool MP Saumitra Khan who was expelled for “anti-party activity, and secured the saffron party’s nomination from his old constituency Bishnupur, was leading over Shyamal Santra of Trinamool.
Khan is barred from entering the district for six weeks by the Calcutta High Court due to ongoing criminal cases against him. He was, however, allowed to file his nomination by the court, but the bar on his entry into most areas of the constituency remained, forcing his wife to do the campaigning on his behalf.
In North Bengal’s Cooch Behar, the saffron party’s Nisith Pramanik, a former Trinamool youth leader against whom, at one time, BJP workers had a litany of complaints, was ahead of state’s ruling party candidate Paresh Chandra Adhikari. Incidentally, Adhikari is also a turncoat, having switched his allegiance from the Forward Bloc to the Trinamool.
In another battle between two turncoats, three-term CPI-M MLA, Khagen Murmu, who had joined the BJP ahead of the general elections, was leading in Malda North against Trinamool’s Mausam Noor who won the seat last time on a Congress ticket.
Two other party switchers, who fought on BJP tickets, however, were trailing.
After crossing over to the BJP following his expulsion from the Trinamool for “anti-party activities”, Visva Bharati University Assistant Professor Anupam Hazra, a member of the outgoing Lok Sabha from Bolpur, was trailing against Bengali actress and ruling party nominee Mimi Chakraborty in Jadavpur constituency.
Formerly a two-time CPI-M lawmaker, Mafuja Khatun – the only Muslim woman candidate nominated by the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections – was in the second place in Jangipur of Murshidabad district. Trinamool’s Khalilur Rahaman was in the lead from the constituency.
Trinamool seems headed for mixed results by roping in political leaders from the Congress.
Abu Taher Khan, a former Congress MLA, was leading from Murshidabad over his nearest rival Abu Hena of the Congress.
However, Apurba Sarkar, another ex Congress lawmaker, was trailing against Congress veteran Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury in Baharampur Lok Sabha constituency.