Releasing the list of Trinamool Congress (TMC) candidates for the upcoming West Bengal Assembly elections, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday said she would be contesting the polls from Nandigram constituency and vacate her seat of Bhawanipore in Kolkata. With this announcement, it is likely that the BJP would pit former TMC leader and state minister Suvendu Adhikari against her in Nandigram.
“Today, we are releasing a list of 291 candidates which includes 50 women, 42 Muslim candidates. On 3 seats of north Bengal, we not putting up our candidates. I will contest from Nandigram,” ANI quoted Banerjee as saying.
The TMC supremo said the party would be contesting on 291 seats out of total 294 and the remaining three seats in Darjeeling would be contested by party allies. Saying that the party has given assembly poll tickets to eminent personalities from the field of arts, sports, media and culture, Mamata urged the people of Bengal to have faith in her. “Have faith in me, only TMC can take Bengal to new heights,” she was quoted as saying by PTI.
From Bhawanipore constituency, Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay will be contesting, she said.
She also thanked Opposition leaders and parties from other states such as Tejashwi Yadav, Arvind Kejriwal, Hemant Soren and Shiv Sena for extending their support to the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal.
Adhikari has told the BJP’s central leadership that he is keen to contest from the Nandigram seat against the Chief Minister. According to BJP leader and former state minister Rajib Banerjee, Adhikari on Thursday told senior party leaders during an election committee meeting held at party’s national president JP Nadda’s residence that he was ready for Nandigram.
Adhikari had won the seat in the 2016 Assembly polls while Banerjee emerged victorious from the Bhabanipur Assembly segment in Kolkata.
The final decision on his candidature will be taken by the BJP’s central election committee (CEC), which met in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other top BJP leaders.