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Bappi to contest from Serampore

Calcutta, March 21: The BJP today announced Bappi Lahiri as the party’s Lok Sabha poll candidate for the Serampore seat in Hooghly.

The 61-year-old music composer will contest against Trinamul’s Kalyan Banerjee, the Congress’s Abdul Mannan and the Left’s Tirthankar Roy.

Lahiri said he agreed to contest the Serampore seat following a request from BJP national president Rajnath Singh.

“Rajnathji called me up last night and requested me to contest the Serampore seat. I was left with no option but to accept the offer,” Lahiri said this evening over phone from his Mumbai home.

Sources said Lahiri, who was miffed at the leadership after his name did not figure in the first two lists of poll candidates, had preferred the Jadavpur seat.

Asked about the offer to contest from Serampore, Lahiri today said: “I will have to abide by the leadership’s decision as I am contesting on a BJP ticket.” The music director added that his sole objective was “to ensure my victory, regardless of what seat it is”.

The BJP has chosen Burdwan University professor Swarup Prasad Ghosh for the Jadavpur seat. “For the high-profile Jadavpur seat, we have chosen an academician to take on the ruling party’s candidate, who is also from the field of education,” state BJP president Rahul Sinha said today.

Trinamul has fielded Harvard professor Sugata Bose from the seat.

BJP sources said tonight that the party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi could address a rally in Bengal early next month to campaign for candidates.