Kolkata, Mar 4 : The BJP’s Central Election Committee (CEC) will meet at the party’s headquarters in New Delhi this evening to finalise the list of candidates for the upcoming assembly election in West Bengal.
The ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) is also holding a meeting with ward presidents and coordinators for the upcoming assembly elections.
Party leaders Abhishek Banerjee, Partha Chatterjee among those present in the meeting at TMC Bhawan here.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, BJP chief J.P. Nadda, National General Secretary (Organisation) B.L. Santosh and other senior leaders will attend the CEC meeting. BJP National General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, National Vice President Mukul Roy, state party president Dilip Ghosh and other members of core committee of West Bengal unit have also reached Delhi.
The party sources said that the BJP’s CEC is likely to finalise candidates for seats going for polls in first two phases. A total of 60 seats of West Bengal are going for polls in the first two phases.
BJP state president Dilip Ghosh on Wednesday said that the party’s state unit has shortlisted four to five names per seat for the first two phases of polling and the list of candidates for those phases will be finalised during the CEC meeting on Thursday. Mr Ghosh has hinted that Suvendu Adhikari may get ticket from the Nandigram seat in East Medinipur district. This assumes significance as TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to contest from Nandigram, the seat that had brought Ms Banerjee to power 14 years ago.
He said, “We won’t get less than 200 (seats), it’ll definitely be more than 200. We didn’t begin preparations today, we had started 5 yrs back. We’ve proceeded phase-wise, we all saw results in Lok Sabha elections. We’re going ahead with mantra of ’19 mein half, 21 mein saaf’.”
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena on Thursday announced that it will not contest the upcoming West Bengal polls and extended its support to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. “Looking at the present scenario, it appears like a ‘Didi vs all’ fight. All ‘M’s – Money, Muscle, and Media are being used against ‘M’amata Didi,” Sanjay Raut tweeted, adding that the party stands in solidarity with Ms Banerjee.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Wednesday directed all petrol pump dealers and other agencies to remove hoardings advertising central government schemes that carry photographs of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the premises of the facilities within 72 hours, an official said.
The use of the prime minister’s photograph in such hoardings violates the Model Code of Conduct (MCC), the official of the West Bengal Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) said. Earlier in the day, a Trinamool Congress delegation met ECI officials and alleged that the use of Modi’s photographs in hoardings informing people of various central schemes violates the poll code.