Siliguri, March 6: The Darjeeling district BJP today said it is likely to announce on March 15 the names of SMC poll candidates for all the 47 wards.
Rathindra Bose, the Siliguri (organisational) district president of BJP, said: "We have already shortlisted the candidates who will contest in the upcoming SMC polls. We will send the list of probable candidates to our state leaders next week for approval. Once we get their approval, the names would be announced on March 15."
The state election commission has suggested April 25 for elections to 92 civic bodies, Siliguri Municipal Corporation being one of them. But the state government has not come out with a notification on the date.
According to Bose, the party has already visited all the 47 wards and held a series of programmes such as street-corners meetings and door-to-door campaigns.
During such campaigns, the BJP said it had focused on 14 added wards of the civic body, which are under Jalpaiguri district.
In all these wards, basic civic services such as proper drainage, drinking water, roads and conservancy are in a pathetic state, Bose said.
"Ahead of the civic polls, the north Bengal development minister Gautam Deb has suddenly taken up certain so-called development projects. He is putting impetus on improving the road conditions and has introduced sophisticated equipment for garbage collection. These are nothing but an eyewash planned to divert people's attention," the BJP district president said.
Party insiders have said that it is the announcement of former minister Asok Bhattacharya's name and the near confirmation that Deb would contest from ward 15 that prompted the BJP to expedite its process of finalising candidates.
"Now that the names of the two political figures of Siliguri have become the talk of the town, the BJP finds itself on the back foot as the party has not announced the name of any prominent person of the town as its candidate. This is why the party feels it is wise to move ahead and announce the names of all the 47 candidates. If BJP turns out to be the first party to announce its candidates' list, it can move ahead in the campaign," a senior BJP leader said, on condition of anonymity.