New Delhi: Former state BJP chief Rahul Sinha and actor Rupa Ganguly of teleserial 'Mahabharat' fame figure among 194 candidates whose names were announced by the party today for the West Bengal Assembly polls.
The announcement was made following a meeting of the party's Central Election Committee (CEC) attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, among others.
The party, however, did not announce its candidates for Kerala due to 'some pending issues'.
Union Minister and CEC secretary JP Nadda said the party has given representation to "all sections" of society in list. He said young candidates have been preferred and 26 women figured among the candidates announced so far.
With today's announcement, BJP has declared its candidates for 246 seats in the 294-member state Assembly.
Mr Sinha will contest from Jorasanko seat in Kolkata, while Ms Ganguly, who is the party's state women's wing chief, will try her luck from Howrah North.
Former state party youth wing president Amitava Roy will be in the fray from Barrackpore and actor Suman Banerjee from English Bazar, Mr Nadda said.
About the list of candidates for Kerala, he said, the CEC has approved nominees for several seats but it will released after completion of certain formalities.
Sources said the state BJP leadership had released a list of candidates for 22 seats a few days ago, making the task a "little difficult" for the central leadership. It is not clear if all the names announced by the state unit will find favour with the Party's central leadership.
Kerala BJP chief Kummanam Rajasekharan told a press conference that his party's prospect in the state, where it currently has no legislator, is "bright" as people are fed up with the ruling Congress-led UDF and its main challenger is the CPI(M)-led LDF.
He also referred to the recent incidents of violent attacks on party workers allegedly by CPI(M) activists, and accused the ruling Congress of protecting the accused.
Former Kerala BJP president V Muraleedharan claimed BJP had stitched together a "formidable alliance" that includes Ezhava outfit Bharat Dharma Jana Sena, and it will do well in the polls.
Kerala goes to the polls on May 16, while West Bengal will have elections in six phases between April 4 and May 5.