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West Bengal polls 2021: BJP fields former CEA Ashok Lahiri from Balurghat to defeat Left in its Bastion

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Kolkata, Mar 23: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded former chief economic advisor Ashok Lahiri back in the fray in the upcoming West Bengal assembly polls 2021 by fielding him from south Dinajpur's Balurghat constituency.

Lahiri, who was earlier pulled out from the Alipurduar seat in north Bengal after local party workers held a protest against his candidature, will now contest from Balurghat as a BJP candidate.

West Bengal polls 2021: BJP fields former CEA Ashok Lahiri from Balurghat to defeat Left in its Bastion

Lahiri was replaced with local leader Suman Kanjilal from the Alipurduar seat last week.

Lahiri previously served as 12th Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India, reader at the Delhi School of Economics, chairman of Bandhan Bank, executive director at the Asian Development Bank and director of the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy and had stints with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, as a consultant and senior economist, respectively.

Lahiri, a former student of the Hindu School and Presidency College in Kolkata, was also a member of the 15th Finance Commission of India.

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With 67,495 votes, Trinamool Congress' Chakraborty Shankar had registered victory over RSP candidate Biswanath Choudhury (49,204 votes) in the 2011 Assembly election. In the 2016 polls, Choudhary defeated Shankar by a slender margin of 1450 votes.

The Balurghat constituency lies in the Dakshin Dinajpur district of West Bengal. The Balurghat Assembly constituency is expected to go to polls in April-May 2021, as part of West Bengal Assembly polls 2021.

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    The election will be held to elect a total of 294 Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs).

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