The BJP is considering fielding a silver screen celebrity against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee from the Bhabanipur constituency in South Kolkata for upcoming the state Assembly elections.
Mamata Banerjee is the sitting MLA from the Bhabanipur (or Bhowanipore) constituency.
BJP sources said that the party was keen on using “the element of surprise” when it comes to candidate selection against the Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo.
“The key reason behind considering the idea of fielding a Tollywood [Bengali film industry] is to utilise glamour to counter Mamata Banerjee. It may be lot easier for us to get the voters in Bhabanipur on BJP’s side if we can field a household name from the silver screen against her,” a senior state BJP leader said.
BJP insiders further revealed that although nothing had been finalised in this regard but a couple of names Bengali film stars were doing the rounds at the party. They also said that the party was focusing on film stars who were “household names” in Bengal and long time residents of the constituency.
“However, the final decision will be taken by the Central leadership,” BJP sources said.
The fact that the TMC supremo declared that she would also contest from the Nandigram constituency in East Medinipur district seemed to have put the saffron party in a spot as it was yet to find a face in Bengal which could rival her political stature.
BJP sources said that it was planning to field a “veteran politician” against Mamata in Nandigram and a celebrity candidate in Bhabanipur.
Fueling speculations Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh said that not just Bhabanipur, “surprises” would there in other constituencies also.
“Just wait and watch. There will be a lot of surprises in the Assembly elections. But nothing has been finalised so far. Discussions are going on in the party,” said Ghosh.
BJP candidate Chandra Kumar Bose came up as a distant third in the 2016 Assembly elections from Bhabanipur. While the TMC supremo achieved a thumping victory by getting 48.53% votes (65,520 votes), Bose only got 19.48% votes (26,299 votes). Deepa Dasmunsi, candidate of the Left-Congress alliance got the second spot with 29.79% votes.
Original posted at www.deccanherald.com