Kolkata : The list of candidates released by the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Friday is flooded with celebrities and film personalities, such as former cricket player Manoj Tiwari, actors June Malia, Sayanti and Kanchan Moitra, filmmaker Raj Chakraborty among others.
The list, announced by TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, has named of 291candidates, leaving three for its ally, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s Bimal Gurung in the North Bengal hills.
In exchange, the Gurung faction will support TMC candidates in 14 seats in the plains , Banerjee said at a press conference on Friday
Banerjee also said that she had got the support of Bangshibadan Burman and Kamtapuri Atul Roy, two separatist leaders of North Bengal.
Among the declared candidates, 50 are women, 79 are from the Scheduled Caste background and 17 are from Scheduled Tribes, the West Bengal chief minister said.
At a programme held in Muzaffar Ahmad Bhawan, the Sanjukta Morcha, too, announced its first phase of candidate list, including from the Left Front for two electoral phases on March 27, and April 1.
The seats allotted to Congress and Indian Secular Front (ISF) have been left vacant as AICC will announce its list of candidates from New Delhi while ISF will do so in a couple days in Kolkata.
Among those who will fight the elections in the first and second phase of 60 seats, include CPI(M) leader and former mInisters Sushanta Ghosh from Shalboni , and Debleena Hembram from Ranibadh, former MP Pulinbehari Baskey from Keshiaary and Tapas Sinha from Narayangarh of West Mednipore.
Announcing the list, Left Front chairman Biman Basu said there were considerable numbers of young faces among Left candidates, and very few above 50 years old.
Three seats of Pingla Egra and Nandigram (from where Mamata Banerjee is contesting) have been left vacant.
Basu said soon a joint appeal from the Sanjukta Morcha and a manifesto on behalf of the Left Front will be released. He also extended support to the programme of Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella of over 40 farmer unions, which has organised a meeting on March 15 during ‘Solidarity Day for Saving Public Enterprises’.
On Saturday, the Left parties along with Congress and ISF will hold protests against the hike in petrol, LPG and diesel prices, inflation and unemployment.
Basu also alleged that TMC had intentionally given weak candidates in seats where Bharatiya Janata Party was hopeful of winning.
Asked about Mamata Banerjee welcoming CPI(ML)Liberation’s stand on helping TMC in these elections against BJP, Basu said it was unfortunate that those (TMC) who had helped BJP enter Bengal were now handing over certificates on the fight against BJP.