19 January, 2021

‘Being Among The People, The Experience Was Priceless’

The Pioneer BJP Hooghly; Lost

‘Being Among The People, The Experience Was Priceless’

I became an accidental candidate in the 16th Lok Sabha elections from my party. The BJP’s central election committee was meeting regularly in the first week of March to finalise names for the forthcoming polls. On March 5, I was required to attend a meeting as central observer for Orissa. Invited leaders from West Bengal and Orissa were sitting in an ante-room close to the main meeting hall. Out of curiosity, I inquired about the names from West Bengal. At this point, several of those seated in the room vociferously suggested I too should enter the fray. The most compelling argument given was that I would be at “minimum risk”. As I am a sitting Rajya Sabha member with more than two years left for my second term to expire, and given the rising NaMo wave, this was the best time to try one’s luck.

My name was formally announced on March 7. Before that, I asked Arun Jaitley, a friend from our Delhi Univ­ersity days, if I should really take the plunge. (He hadn’t decided about contesting from Amritsar yet). “If you think you can get...



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