West Bengal

Mamata to contest from Nandigram, announces TMC candidates for 291 seats

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee releases the list of candidates contesting in Assembly elections, in Kolkata on Friday.   | Photo Credit: Subham Dutta

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday announced candidates for 291 of the 294 Assembly seats in the State. The Trinamool Congress chairperson said she would contest from the Nandigram in Purba Medinipur district.

“I will contest from Nandigram, I had given my word and will stick to it,” she said. She made it clear that she would not contest Kolkata’s Bhawanipur seat, which she had represented for the past two terms.

The party’s candidates’ list comprises people from different sections of society such as women, youth, film stars, sportspersons and retired bureaucrats.

Ms. Banerjee said that all sections of society have been given priory, including women and young and old, and different caste and communities. A closer look at the candidates’ list points out that the Trinamool Congress has focused on winnability.

The list includes 51 women (18 %), 79 Scheduled Caste (27 %) and 17 Scheduled Tribe (6 %) candidates. It comprises 12 % Muslim candidates, numbering 35, and candidates from Other Backward Classes ( OBC) are 19 (7 %). About 27 sitting MLAs have not got ticket.

No ticket for 80+

Ms. Banerjee said the party had taken a decision not to field anyone above 80 years of age because of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic. It would set up a ‘bidhan parishad’ to accommodate several senior leaders who were not contesting. Finance Minister Amit Mitra and Minister for Technical Education Purnendu Bose would not contest now.

A comparison of the list with the nominees the party fielded in 2016 shows that the number of women candidates have increased from 45 in 2016 to 51 in 2021 but there has been in the drop in Muslim candidates. It dropped from 57 in 2016 to 35 to 2021.

The Bimal Gurung faction of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha will announce names for the remaining three seats of the Darjeeling hills. Former Indian cricketer Manoj Tiwari will contest from Shibpur Assembly seat in Howrah district and filmmaker Raj Chakraborty from Barrackpore. Popular actor Kanchan Mullick will contest from Uttarpara and actor Ladlee Moitra from Sonarpur Dakshin. Power Minister Sovandeb Chattopadhyay will contest from Bhawanipur and journalist Vivek Gupta from Jorasanko in the city.

Thanks leaders

Ms. Banerjee thanked NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav, SP’s Akhilesh Yadav, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemanta Soren and other leaders who have extended support to her. “Bengal will be administered by people of the State and not by outsiders who are trying to capture with the help of goons,” she said.

Ms. Banerjee expressed the hope that the elections would be fear and fair. The Central forces should not act as per instructions of the BJP. People were aware that if voted to power, the BJP would bring imminent doom

“Better not say anything about the CPI(M) and the Congress. They have a 100 percent understanding with the BJP,” she alleged. The Trinamool Congress was contesting alone against all.

Protests erupted in some parts, including at Bhangar, where TMC leader Arabul Islam and his supporters targeted party office after his name did not figure in the candidates’ list.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 3:51:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/west-bengal-assembly/mamata-to-contest-from-nandigram-announces-tmc-candidates-for-291-seats/article33995800.ece

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