#LokSabhaElection2019: BJP replaces SS Ahluwalia as Darjeeling candidate
New Delhi, Mar 24 (UNI): The BJP on Sunday evening announced that its youth leader Raju Singh Bisht will be new NDA nominee from Darjeeling parliamentary constituency in West Bengal.
The sitting MP and Union Minister SS Ahluwalia had won the seat in 2014.
The announcement was made after BJP in-charge for West Bengal Kailash Vijayvargiya met Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and Gorkha Liberation Front leaders and pledged their support to the BJP for the parliamentary polls in the Darjeeling segment - which has often been vulnerable for violence.
Mr Ahluwalia was once a Congress leader in Rajya Sabha and was part of the 'shouting brigade' during the height of Bofors controversy along with the likes of KK Tiwari.
The meeting was attended by Gorkha Mukti Morcha working president Dr Lopsong Yoma and Gorkha
Liberation Front leader and spokesman Neeraj Jimba.
The Gorkha Mukti Morcha and Gorkha Liberation Front leaders announced that all the three partners will work together to ensure that BJP nominee records victory from the politically sensitive constituency for third consecutive time.
In 2009, senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh had contested the poll successfully and five years back, BJP leader S S Ahluwalia had recorded a convincing victory defeating football star Trinamool Congress nominee Baichung Bhutia by a margin of 1,97,239 votes.
In 2004 - the seat was won by Congress nominee Dawa Narbula.
Earlier in the day when reports about meeting between Gorkha leaders with BJP top brass came, sources had indicated that Mr Ahluwalia has decided to opt out of the race for the party ticket.
In last week's meeting between BJP CEC members and West Bengal core group leaders - there was no consensus on Darjeeling seat.
The GJM, which led a violent agitation for a separate Gorkhaland states, has split lately and one faction is even backing the Trinamool Congress. The GJM can influence voters in three assembly segments under Darjeeling.
Trinamool has nominated Amar Singh Rai, the GJM MLA from Darjeeling, as its candidate.
Image Credit: twitter.com/SSAhluwaliaMP