The BJP in West Bengal on Saturday announced that its ties with Trinamool Congress had come to an end and the party would contest the coming Lok Sabha elections on its own.
"The poll alliance between Trinamool Congress and BJP in Bengal no longer exists," state BJP General Secretary Rahul Sinha told PTI.
Blaming Trinamool Congress for the parting of ways, Sinha said "Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, who is eying on Muslim votebank, has openly declared that she does not want to keep truck with BJP in the state."
He said BJP has shortlisted candidates for 15 of the total 42 seats in the first phase. The list has been sent to party president Rajnath Singh for approval.
Asked whether the party would field a candidate against Mamata at her South Kolkata constituency, Sinha said "we have not decided as yet."
The names in the list includes that of state BJP president and former union minister Satyabrata Mukherjee from Krishnanagar and former state party chief Tathagata Roy from Kolkata North.
He said the other seats the party had shortlisted were Dum Dum, Barrackpore, Malda (North), Midnapur, Bishnupur, Alipurduar, Coochbehar, Bolpur and Jhargram.
The party would contest another 15 to 20 seats candidates for which would be shortlisted soon.
The Trinamool Congress had contested the last Lok Sabha elections in the state in 2004 and the state assembly elections in 2006 in alliance with BJP.
Subsequently, Mamata, keen to exploit alleged cracks in Bengal CPI (M)'s Muslim vote bank after Nandigram, distanced her party from BJP without formally stating that she was readying to exit the BJP-led NDA.