Sita Soren, Ex-Judge Abhijit Gangopadhyay Among New Joinees On BJP’s Blockbuster 5th List for Lok Sabha Polls

Sita Soren, Ex-Judge Abhijit Gangopadhyay Among New Joinees On BJP's Blockbuster 5th List for Lok Sabha Polls

Sita Soren, the sister-in-law of former Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren, joined the BJP on March 19. (Image: PTI/Atul Yadav)

Putting speculation to rest, actor Kangana Ranaut is also among those who have formally joined the BJP and is contesting from Mandi in Himachal Pradesh

On the BJP’s massive fifth list of no less than 111 candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, there are at least half a dozen nominees who recently joined the saffron party.

Among those rewarded with the ticket are former Congress MP Navin Jindal from Kurukshetra; and Sita Soren, an estranged relative of Jharkhand’s jailed ex-CM Hemant Soren, from Dumka. Arjun Singh and Tapas Roy, who switched over from Mamata Banerjee’s TMC, have got tickets from Barrackpur and Kolkata Uttar in West Bengal. Also from Bengal, former Calcutta High Court judge Abhijit Gangopadhyay will be contesting from Tamluk seat.

Putting speculation to rest, actor Kangana Ranaut is also among those who have formally joined the BJP and are now candidates. She will contest from Mandi in Himachal Pradesh, from where state Congress chief Pratibha Singh is the incumbent MP. Another actor on the list is Arun Govil, known for playing Ram’s character on television.

In Jharkhand, the BJP has sought to capitalise on apparent discontentment within the Soren clan. Sita Soren is the widow of Durga Soren, the late brother of Hemant Soren. She had resigned from the assembly as well as the family-led JMM saying she was not being given her due. It was seen as a direct expression of discontentment after Champai Soren, who is not from the family though he has the same surname, was made CM after Hemant resigned ahead of his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in a case of alleged financial irregularities.

In West Bengal, among the nominees is former Calcutta HC judge Abhijit Gangopadhyay, who resigned from judicial services and joined the BJP just days ago. He has been accused of impropriety in switching from being an impartial keeper of justice to a partisan leader making snide statements about those from non-BJP parties. He was handling a number of sensitive cases, involving the TMC government just before he took the political plunge.

Jindal, one of the most prominent industrialists in India, had a decades-long family association with the Congress. His mother, Savitri Jindal, once named the richest woman in India has served as a state minister before that. His father, OP Jindal, was also a Congress MLA many years ago.

He was rather inactive in politics in general and Congress, in particular, in the recent past. In 2014, the 54-year-old billionaire had lost the general elections and his mother lost the assembly poll, both on Congress tickets. The Jindal family has interests in steel, most prominently, and also runs a private university in Sonipat.

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