Mamata to contest from Nandigram

Trinamool Congress on March 5, released its first list of 291 candidates out of 294 constituencies for the upcoming West Bengal assembly elections. “We are the first political party to announce the candidate list. Today, we are releasing a list of 291 candidates, which includes 50 women, 79 SCs, 17 STs and 42 Muslim candidates. On three seats of north Bengal, we are not putting up our candidates. In three seats — Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong — Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) will contest the elections and whoever wins will support us,” announced the TMC supremo.

I will contest from Nandigram,” she said.

While announcing the list, chief minister Mamata Banarjee said she will vacate her home turf Bhowanipore in Kolkata and contest from Nandigram constituency. This time I am giving the Bhowanipore seat to my friend and colleague Sovandeb Chattopadhyay. It’s a seat close to my heart and I can come back here later, says Mamata Banerjee.

“Shobhandeb Chattopadhyay will be contesting from Bhowanipore constituency in the upcoming elections,” she declared.

Mamata said TMC has given assembly poll tickets to eminent personalities from the fields of arts, sports, media and culture and 23-24 existing TMC MLAs have been dropped due to age and other reasons.

Following will the ratio of seat distribution in Bengal:

  • Women – 50
  • Minority – 42
  • SC – 79
  • ST – 17

Despite being a three-cornered contest, the TMC supremo said that several opposition parties have rallied behind her party to give a strong fight to BJP. She thanked Tejashwi Yadav, Arvind Kejriwal, Hemant Soren, Akhilesh Yadav and Uddhav Thackery for extending their support to her.

“Have faith in me, only TMC can take Bengal to new height,” she said. She also promised to create Vidhan Parishad to accommodate senior and experienced leaders if voted to power. 

We have focussed on young people this time. 27-28 seats will be given to youngsters. Those above 80 years of age dropped in the wake of Covid situation and in wake of EC norms, announced Mamata Banerjee.

We are residents of Bengal and we understand its culture, history and legacy. Outsiders who do not know where Tagore was born or who vandalise Vidyasagar’s statue don’t understand that. We leave it to people to decide if this is a referendum. I have full faith on my people who understand that bringing in the BJP would mean doom for our state, says Mamata Banerjee.

Key highlights of AITC’s candidate list:

  • 48% General candidates (141)
  • 7% OBC Candidates (19)
  • 27% SC Candidates (79). (11 SC candidates to contest from non-SC reserved seats)
  • 6% ST Candidates (17)
  • 12% Muslim Candidates (35)
  • 82% Male Candidates (240)
  • 18% Female Candidates (51)

Grand Alliance Comprising Left Front, Congress and ISF announced first list of candidates for Bengal. Left Front Chairman Biman Bose has said consensus on some seats for Bengal Assembly Elections is yet to be arrived at by the Grand Alliance. While the Left Front and ISF have declared their candidates for Phase-1 and Phase-2 of the elections.

Names of Congress Candidates for Seats Allotted to it in the alliance will be announced by high command in Delhi: party MP Pradip Bhattacharya.

Star-studded affair

The Trinamool chief accommodated a slew of Bengali Film and Television industry representatives in her Party’s candidate list for the upcoming elections: 

  • Actor Kanchan Mallick, from Hoogly’s Uttarpara,
  • Soham Chakraborty from Chandipur,
  • Director Raj Chakraborty from Barrackpore,
  • Actress Sayantika From Bankura,
  • Actress June Malliah from Mdnapore sadar,
  • Actress Sayani Ghosh from Asansol south,
  • Cricketer Manoj Tiwari from Hawrah’s Shibpur, and
  • Kaushani Mukharjee from Krishnanagar north assembly constituency.

In 2016 the TMC had won 211 seats in the 294-member House. The Left-Congress alliance had bagged 77 with Congress’s tally being 44. BJP contested 294 seats but had managed to win only six.

Besides the TMC, Grand Alliance comprising Left Front, Congress and ISF on Friday announced the first list of candidates for Bengal assembly election 2021. Earlier in the day, Trinamool Congress led by Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, released the full list of 291 candidates for the forthcoming elections in the state. Meanwhile, BJP is also expected to release the first list of candidates for the upcoming polls.

A Congress MP Pradip Bhattacharya said, “names of Congress candidates for seats allotted to it in the alliance will be announced by the high command in Delhi.”

Lok Sabha MP Asaduddin Owaisi-led All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and cleric Pirzada Abbas Siddiqui, the fourth-generation descendant of Sufi Saint Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqui, are also in the election fray making efforts to consolidate the votes of Bengali-speaking Muslims, Dalits and marginalised communities of the State. 

Siddiqui heads the popular shrine of Furfura Sharif in Hoogly district and has launched Indian Secular Front (ISF). ISF is part of the grand alliance whose other partners are Left Front and Congress.

The Bhartiya Janta Party held a meeting at the party head quarters in Delhi ahead of the announcement of candidates list for the upcoming Bengal election.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and party president JP Nadda along with other members of the committee were present in the meeting. As per media reports BJP has finalised Suvendu Adhikari to contest against TMC Chief Mamata Banarjee from Nandigram seat.

As per media reports BJP will announce its first list of candidates for seats going to polls in the first two phases. The first two phases will see voting for 60 seats