TMC releases first candidates' list; Mamata to contest from NandigramLast updated on Mar 05, 2021, 04:09 pm
The ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) party in West Bengal on Friday released its first list of candidates for the upcoming Assembly elections in the state.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced that she will be contesting from the Nandigram constituency.
Notably, Nandigram is the stronghold of Suvendu Adhikari, a former TMC leader who defected to the rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Here are more details.
First list of 291 candidates out
Banerjee said, "We are releasing the list of 291 candidates, out of which 50 candidates are women and 40 candidates are from the Muslim community."
Banerjee said Power Minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay will contest from Bhowanipore, the constituency she currently represents in the Assembly.
Banerjee will visit Nandigram on March 9 and file her nomination from Haldia on March 10, she added.
TMC will not field candidates from Darjeeling, Kurswon, Kalimpong
The TMC will not contest in three constituencies in north Bengal: Darjeeling, Kurswon, and Kalimpong. These have been left for "friendly parties," Banerjee said. No candidate above 80 will contest from the TMC, she added.
You can view the first list of candidates here
AITC Candidates for West Bengal Bidhan Sabha Elections 2021https://t.co/PLvmznHmrX— All India Trinamool Congress (@AITCofficial) March 5, 2021
Earlier, Banerjee had wanted to contest from 2 seats
With this announcement, Banerjee has put to rest speculation that she will contest from two seats.
Earlier in January, she had announced that she will contest from Nandigram.
She had said, "Nandigram is my big sister, Bhawanipore is my younger sister...I will fight from both if possible."
"In case I am unable to contest from Bhawanipore, someone else would contest," she had said.
Adhikari likely to face Banerjee in Nandigram
Late-last year, Adhikari had quit the TMC and had also resigned as West Bengal Transport Minister.
In December, in a big blow to the TMC, he had joined the BJP.
Adhikari had spearheaded the anti-land acquisition agitation at Nandigram in 2007.
The movement had catapulted Banerjee to the forefront of Bengal politics, and in 2011, she came to power.
Will defeat Banerjee by over 50,000 votes: Adhikari
On Thursday, Adhikari had told the BJP leadership that he was confident of defeating Banerjee by "at least 50,000 votes" in Nandigram.
However, the BJP is yet to make a final decision on fielding him against the West Bengal CM.
The decision will reportedly be taken by senior BJP leader and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
When will elections be held in West Bengal?
The West Bengal elections will be held in eight phases: March 27 (to be held in 30 constituencies), April 1 (30), April 6 (31), April 10 (44), April 17 (45), April 22 (43), April 26 (36), and April 29 (35).
Elections will be held across 1,01,916 polling stations.
The term of the Assembly ends May 30, 2021. Votes will be counted on May 2.