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Darjeeling, Bardhaman-Durgapur and Asansol: The curious case of BJP's Bengal candidate SS Ahluwalia

With over 30 years of parliamentary experience, Ahluwalia has established himself as a seasoned figure in Indian politics. Hailing from Asansol, he has not only served as a minister in the Central Government but also enjoyed a lengthy tenure as a Rajya Sabha MP.

Edited By: Anurag Roushan @Candid_Tilaiyan Asansol Updated on: April 10, 2024 20:36 IST
SS Ahluwalia
Image Source : PTI BJP leader SS Ahluwalia.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday announced the nomination of former Union minister SS Ahluwalia from the Asansol Lok Sabha seat in West Bengal. He would take on TMC's heavyweight candidate and the party's star face, Shatrughan Sinha, at this constituency. Ahluwalia's nomination comes after Bhojpuri Star Pawan Singh declined to contest from this seat after being named in the first list of candidates by the saffron party. Ahluwalia has been fielded from his home district for the first time in his political career of three decades. 

Following his nomination, the BJP leader expressed his gratitude towards the central leadership of the party. "My greetings to all the people of Asansol Lok Sabha constituency. Heartfelt thanks to the central leadership for giving me the opportunity to serve the people of this parliamentary constituency," Ahluwalia wrote on X. 

The BJP made a strategic change in its candidate lineup for the Burdwan-Durgapur seat, previously held by its sitting MP Ahluwalia. Ahluwalia was replaced by former state president Dilip Ghosh as the party's candidate for this constituency. Subsequently, Ghosh, who previously won from the Medinipur seat, was transferred to contest in Ahluwalia's constituency. 

The Curious Case of Ahluwalia

With over 30 years of parliamentary experience, Ahluwalia has established himself as a seasoned figure in Indian politics. Hailing from Asansol, he has not only served as a minister in the Central Government but also enjoyed a lengthy tenure as a Rajya Sabha MP. Ahluwalia's journey began when he entered the political arena as a Rajya Sabha member in 1986, after studying law from Calcutta University. 

Currently, Ahluwalia is a member of Parliament representing the Bardhaman-Durgapur Lok Sabha constituency in West Bengal. He represented Darjeeling in the 16th Lok Sabha, having been elected as its MP in the 2014 General Elections. Prior to entering the Lok Sabha in 2014, he was a Member of Parliament representing Bihar and Jharkhand in the Rajya Sabha. Ahluwalia was a Member of Parliament from Rajya Sabha representing Bihar and Jharkhand in 1986-1992, 1992-1998, 2000–2006, and 2006-2012. 

Ahluwalia's political career

Initially elected to the Rajya Sabha from Bihar in 1986 as a member of the Indian National Congress, Ahluwalia began his political career holding significant positions such as Minister for Urban Development and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs in the Union Government under PV Narasimha Rao's leadership. Subsequently, in 1999, he transitioned to the BJP, where he has remained since. 

Notably, he served as Minister of State for Urban Affairs and Employment, as well as Parliamentary Affairs, in the PV Narasimha Rao Cabinet from September 15, 1995, to May 16, 1996. Additionally, he held the position of Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha from June 2010 to May 2012. Recognizing his expertise, Ahluwalia was inducted into the Union Council of Ministers as Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and Parliamentary Affairs on July 5, 2016. 

ALSO READ: BJP new list: Jaiveer Singh Thakur to take on Dimple Yadav in Mainpuri, SS Ahluwalia gets Asansol

 

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