The Trinamool Congress on Friday released the list of 291 candidates for upcoming West Bengal Assembly polls. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will be contesting from the high-profile Nandigram seat. Cricketer Manoj Tiwary has been fielded from Shivpur. Interestingly, senior party leader and incumbent finance minister Amit Mitra's name is missing from the candidates' list. As many as 50 women candidates have been named in the list.
Mamata had won Bhawanipur seat in 2011 by-election and again in 2016, however, her decision to contest from Nandigram this time has now spiced up the battle on the seat as the BJP, in all likelihood, will name her former close aide Suvendu Adhikari as party's candidate from the constituency. Mamata Banerjee is likely to file her nomination from Nandigram seat on March 10.
The TMC has named Sobhandeb Chatterjee as party's candidate from Bhawanipore seat. "I will be contesting from Nandigram, my party
colleague Sovandeb Chattopadhyay will be contesting from Bhawanipore seat," Mamata told reporters.
Banerjee also challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to deploy as much central force as it wants but the TMC will still emerge victorious.
The names of over 20 sitting MLAs and top ministers have been dropped from the list of candidates, however, Mamata said senior and experienced leaders will be accommodated in the Vidhan Parishad which she said will be created after TMC comes to power again.
"After we come to power we will create Vidhan Parishad to accommodate senior and experienced leaders," Mamata Banerjee told reporters. "23-24 existing TMC MLAs have been dropped due to age and other reasons," she added.
Elections to the 294-member West Bengal assembly will be held in eight phases on March 27, April 1, April 6, April 10, April 17, April 22, April 26 and April 29. Results will be declared on May 2. The term of West Bengal Legislative Assembly will expire on May 30.
In 2016 the TMC had won 211 seats in the 294-member House. The Left-Congress alliance had bagged 77 seats and the BJP three.