Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday confirmed her candidature from Nandigram seat as she released the list of Trinamool Congress (TMC) candidates for the upcoming Assembly polls for 291 seats with emphasis on youths, minority, women and backward communities.
Three candidates of the Bimal Gurung faction of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), an ally of the TMC, will be contesting from the remaining three seats in Darjeeling.
Affirming her candidature from the high-profile Nandigram seat, Banerjee will vacate her traditional Bhowanipore seat in Kolkata, as she threw a challenge to her protege-turned-rival Suvendu Adhikari, who crossed over to the BJP in December.
"I will contest from Nandigram as I stick to my words. From Bhowanipore constituency, Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay will be contesting in the upcoming Assembly elections," Banerjee said while releasing TMC candidate list for the state polls.
This will be the first time Banerjee will be in the poll fray from Nandigram constituency represented by Adhikari in 2016 and another TMC candidate in 2011.
Though Adhikari has time and again expressed his desire to take on his former boss directly in Nandigram, the saffron party leadership is yet to a take a decision on it.
State Finance Minister Amit Mitra won't be contesting elections due to poor health, the TMC supremo said.
Purnendu Bose is another elderly minister missing from the TMC list of candidates and so is veteran legislator Jatu Lahiri from Sibpur.
"We will support GJM in the hills and they will support us in the plains," she said .
She also thanked Hemant Soren of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and Sharad Pawar of NCP for extending their support to TMC.
Left-Congress-ISF Alliance Announce Seats
The alliance of the Left Front, Congress and the newly formed Indian Secular Front (ISF) on Friday announced the names of constituencies from where each party will contest for the first two phases of the Assembly election in West Bengal.
The Left Front also announced the candidates for the seats allotted to it.
However, the Congress and ISF will come out with the names of their contestants later, their leaders said.
LF chairman Biman Bose said that consensus on some seats is yet to be arrived at by the alliance partners.
Nandigram, from where Trinamool Congress supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will contest, is one such seat.
Assembly elections in the state will be held in eight phases between March 27 and April 29. Votes will be counted on May 2.
AIADMK Announces First Candidate List in TN
Chennai: The ruling AIADMK on Friday released its first list of six candidates for the April 6 Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu ahead of arch-rival DMK and pending conclusion of seat-sharing with allies, including the BJP.
The party's star candidates, Chief Minister K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam will contest from their respective home constituencies of Edappadi in Salem and Bodinayakanur in Theni districts.
The AIADMK allotted 23 seats to ally PMK days ago, before DMK finalised seat-sharing with Indian Union Muslim League, Manithaneya Makkal Katchi and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi.
The ruling party, however, is yet to conclude the seat-sharing exercise with BJP and others. The IUML and MMK were allotted three and two seats, respectively, by DMK and it gave six segments to the VCK.
Senior leaders D Jayakumar (Fisheries Minister) and C Ve Shanmugam (Law Minister) have been fielded once again from Royapuram here and Villupuram in northern Tamil Nadu, respectively.
MLAs S P Shanmuganathan and S Thenmozhi would face the polls from Srivaigundam and Nilakottai (Reserved) segments.
The Tamil Nadu Assembly is 234-member strong and, according to sources, the AIADMK is keen on contesting from at least '170 seats', including the 134 segments where it emerged victorious in the 2016 polls.
Meanwhile, a BJP leader expressed confidence that seats to be contested by his party was likely to be out "tonight or on Saturday."
The DMDK, too, said the poll deal with AIADMK would be concluded in a day or two.