Kolkata: BJP is likely to make a surprise by replacing sitting Ranaghat MP Jagannath Sarkar in the ensuing Lok Sabha election while trying to rope in former state advocate General Soumendra Nath Mookherjee, son of former party MP Satyabrata (Julu) Mookherjee, as its candidate for the Krishnanagar seat to put a challenge before Trinamul’s Mahua Moitra.
The party has begun shortlisting the names of the possible candidates. Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the party’s National president JP Nadda visited Kolkata early this week and held several rounds of talks with the party’s Bengal leadership. If party sources are to be believed, Sarkar, will not get re-nomination this time and is likely to be replaced with Archana Majumdar, who unsuccessfully fought the 2021 assembly poll as a BJP candidate in Lok Sabha elections from Dumdum North segment.
Majumdar is a retired chief medical officer with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. She was inducted to the party by turncoat BJP MLA Mukul Roy.
Sarkar won the 2019 Lok Sabha poll by 2, 33,429 votes defeating Trinamul Congress candidate Rupali Biswas, by sailing on the Matua votes.
The exact reason behind is possible drop could not be ascertained. However, a section of the party claimed that his differences with a sizeable section of the matua community members, close to party MP and All India Matua Mahasangha chief Shantanu Thakur might be a reason behind his replacement. However, party workers close to Sarkar still appeared to be optimistic about his nomination.
Meanwhile, party sources claimed that former state advocate general Soumendra Nath Mookherjee, who is the son of the party’s former Krishnanagar MP (1999) and union minister Satyabrata Mookherjee’s (Julu) son.
On November 11, Soumendra Nath tendered his resignation through email while on a foreign tour without specifying any reason. He was appointed as the state advocate general in September 2021. Sources close to him claimed that he was annoyed and felt humiliated by the way the state government was interfering with his work forcing him to face embarrassing situations in courts.
BJP sources said that Mookherjee, originally hailed from Nadia’s Debagram, has been approached by the top leadership to fight the Lok Sabha poll. However, he has so far not given his nod to the proposal. Party insiders claimed that if Mookherjee agreed to the nomination, BJP would be able to give a strong fight against sitting Trinamul MP (expelled) Mahua Moitra, who is all set to be re-nominated by the ruling party in Bengal.
In 2019, BJP candidate footballer Kalyan Chaubey lost to Trinamul nominee Mahua Moitra by only 63,218 votes. BJP leadership claimed that the party needed an acceptable face to divide the Muslim voters in Krishnanagar, who are a decisive factor in at least three assembly segments.
BJP leadership has set a target to win 35 seats out of 42 from Bengal in the ensuing Lok Sabha poll. In the 2019 poll, the party targeted for 22 seats won 18.