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BJP put up 24 candidates in Bengal, number may go up: Marandi

Written by: Staff
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Kolkata, Mar 23 (UNI) After weeks of dilly-dallying, the Central Election Committee of the BJP has announced its decision to field 24 candidates so far, for the coming Assembly elections in West Bengal.

Announcing the CEC's decision, BJP vice-president and observer for West Bengal poll Babulal Marandi here today said of the 24 seats, the names of party candidates in 14 constituencies had already been announced, while those for remaining ten seats would formally be released by the CEC, under the chairmanship of party president Rajnath Singh, in New Delhi this evening.

Incidentally, the BJP candidates would fight under the banner of 13-member Oppositon alliance in the state called West Bengal Democratic Front under the chairmanship of Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee.

Asked whether this was the final list of party candidates as the government notification for the first phase of the five-phase poll in West Bengal would come into effect tomorrow, Mr Marandi, also the former chief minister of Jharkhand, said since negotiations with alliance partner and Ms Banerjee was still on, there was ''every possibility'' of increasing the number of party candidates within the next one or two days, Mr Marandi said.

He, however, refused to elaborate further on the issue of final number of candidates.

The previous 14 constituencies, where the party had already put up candidates are Madarihat (ST), Karandighi, Tapan (ST), Balurghat, Habibpur (ST), Basanti, Khardah, Shyampukur, Tarakeswar, Garbeta West (SC), Banduan (ST), Indpur (SC), Galsi and Mayureswar (SC).

Among the candidates was only one woman -- Debashri Chowdhuri from Balurghat in West Dinajpur district.

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