BJP to contest all 294 Assembly seats in Bengal

"We will contest all the 294 Assembly seats in alliance with some smaller parties in North and South Bengal," state BJP General Secretary Ashim Sarkar said here.

Sarkar said that state party President Rahul Sinha would submit the first list of candidates before the BJP Parliamentary Board tomorrow for ratification of the list prepared by the state election committee.

"Names of the candidates will be made known after the parliamentary board releases the final list," he said, but declined to mention who were the smaller parties with whom the BJP had entered into alliance.

Sarkar said that Sinha had already held meetings with those "smaller parties" in the last few days.

"These are the influential parties in the two regions of the state," he added.
The BJP would meet on March 14 here to prepare the second list for approval by the parliamentary board, he said, adding the third and final list would be readied a few days ahead of the polls.

To a question, Sarkar said that BJP would expect a rise in its voting percentage this time.
"We have noted that our candidates secure better votes if they contest alone and not in alliance with other parties in recent past," Sarkar said.

He said that BJP stalwarts like L K Advani, party national President Nitin Gadkari and leaders like Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj would campaign for candidates.

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