West Bengal: Bengal BJP MLA Bishnu Prasad Sharma to contest as independent from Darjeeling seat

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BJP MLA Bishnu Prasad Sharma on Saturday filed his nomination for the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat as an independent candidate, citing that the party did not field a local candidate from the region.

Earlier, Sharma had urged the top leadership of the BJP to field a local candidate from Darjeeling for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. However, the party named Raju Bista as its candidate from the hill region.

After filing his nomination, Sharma expressed his discontentment with the party’s decision-making process, as he openly criticised BJP’s choice of fielding Raju Bista, labeling him as an ‘outsider’ for the Darjeeling constituency.

“I do not have any personal problem with Raju Bista. I object to BJP fielding outsiders in Darjeeling. Outsiders have done nothing for the region. We want a ‘bhumiputra’ (son of the soil) to represent Darjeeling,” Sharma said.

Despite his decision to contest the elections independently, Sharma said that he would not leave BJP’s membership.

Raju Bista had won from Darjeeling by a margin of over four lakh votes in 2019, and his name was announced in the fifth candidate list published by the BJP on Sunday.

Sharma had said that he will contest the Lok Sabha elections as an independent candidate and won’t regret it if the party takes any action against him.

Earlier, the BJP MLA had been vocal about the creation of a separate state, Gorkhaland, since he was elected to the state Assembly in 2021.

West Bengal will be voting in seven phases in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, beginning from April 19. The state is set to witness a high-stake battle between Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress, the BJP and other parties.

Published By:

Sahil Sinha

Published On:

Mar 30, 2024

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