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BJP's Asansol candidate Pawan Singh won't contest polls after backlash

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
Last updated on: March 03, 2024 19:27 IST
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Bhojpuri singer-actor Pawan Singh withdrew from the Lok Sabha poll contest from the Asansol seat in West Bengal on Sunday, a day after the Bharatiya Janata Party named him as its candidate from the constituency currently represented by the Trinamool Congress's Shatrughan Sinha.

The Trinamool Congress was quick to mock the BJP by saying it surrendered the seat even before the commencement of the election campaign.

In a post on X, Singh thanked the BJP leadership for his candidature but added that he would not be able to contest from Asansol "due to some reason".

Though he did not specify the reason behind his decision, his candidature had drawn criticism from the TMC, the ruling party in West Bengal, which alleged that many of his songs were crude and depicted women, including those from the state, in a vulgar way.

TMC National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee shared Singh's post on X and said, "The INDOMITABLE SPIRIT AND POWER OF THE PEOPLE OF WEST BENGAL."


Trinamool Congress leader Derek O'Brien said the people of Bengal have won.

O'Brien accussed Prime Minister Narendra Modi of being "anti-Bengali" and slammed Singh for "vilifying" Bengali women.

O'Brien said, "PM Narendra Modi is anti-Bengali. He came here, lectured on women power and then gave ticket to someone who has vilified Bengali women."

"That's 'Modi Ki Guarantee' - if you speak ill of Bengal and if you speak ill of women, they'll give you a ticket," he said.

TMC leader Sagarika Ghose said Singh had to step down because of the backlash against his "sexist misogynist videos".

"AITC (All India Trinamool Congress) impact! BJP Asansol candidate withdraws after huge backlash on the candidate's sexist misogynist videos. The BJP's 'nari shakti' call in Bengal now lies in tatters, revealed for what it is - hollow and meaningless," she said on X.

TMC leader Santanu Sen alleged that the BJP speaks about women empowerment but they are anti-women in reality.

"They are anti-women and anti-Bengali and that is why they had given nomination to him. But realising the people's anger, they were forced to back out," he said.

Asansol is home to a sizeable migrant population and the BJP had hoped that Singh would be an effective counter to Sinha, the actor-politician who was in the saffron party for decades before walking out in 2019.

The BJP apparently decided to nudge Singh to step aside from the contest to defuse the controversy, more so when the party has seized on the Sandeshkhali row to go after the TMC leadership.

Many women in Sandeshkhali have accused suspended TMC leader Shajahan Sheikh and his associates of sexual assault and land grab under coercion. Sheikh and many of his cronies have been arrested.

The BJP was soon to fire back at the TMC's criticism over fielding Singh.

Amit Malviya, the BJP's co-incharge for West Bengal, said, "TMC leaders are a bunch of jokers who have suddenly found their voice after keeping quiet for 60 days. The women raped in Sandeshkhali were Bengali, who Mamata Banerjee called 'bohiragoto (outsiders)'. No one vilifies Bengali women more than her, as she continues to defend Sheikh Shajahan."

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
India Votes 2024

India Votes 2024