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West Bengal Polls: Mamata leaves 64 seats for Cong
Kolkata, Mar 18 (Agencies):
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Published on 18 Mar. 2011 11:33 PM IST
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Trinamool Congress today unilaterally announced candidates for 228 constituencies for the Assembly elections in West Bengal, leaving 64 seats to Congress and the remaining two to ally Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI).
“We will be happy if Congress fields its candidates in 64 constituencies after the seat adjustment. Else, we will put our candidates which will include members from the minority community on Monday,” Banerjee said at a crowded press conference while releasing the candidate list.
Banerjee said she released the candidate list after her discussions with Congress central leadership till last night “and what was agreed upon there”.
Criticising the Congress’ buying-time strategy over the seat-sharing deal, Banerjee said, “There is hardly any time left. We have to now go for affidavits and other poll formalities. We have to ensure that nomination forms reach our candidates in remote areas”.
The Trinamool supremo said she had waited for long before announcing the list.
Trinamool Congress’ unilateral decision to release candidate list followed a prolonged talks over seat-sharing with the Congress in both Delhi and Kolkata.
Trinamool Congress ally SUCI has been given two seats (Joynagar and Kultali) to contest.
The Trinamool list of candidates include persons from various walks of life -- from former chief secretary Manish Gupta, FICCI secretary-general Amit Mitra to former IPS officers Rachpal Singh and Sultan Singh.
Film actors Chiranjeet and Debashree Roy, eminent singer Anup Ghosal and theatre personality Bratya Basu were also among Trinamool Congress aspirants.
Rukbanur Rahaman, brother of computer graphics teacher Rizwanur Rahaman whose mysterious death following his marriage with a prominent Hindu industrialist’s daughter sparked off massive uproar in 2007, has also been given a ticket.
The Trinamool list includes 42 members from minority community and 34 women.
Releasing the candidates list, a beaming Banerjee exuded confidence that her party would secure two-third majority in Assembly election, which will be held in six phases during April and May.
“We have fielded candidates in Jangalamhal areas where CPI(M) did not dare to nominate anyone. We have heard that 153 CPI(M) candidates were unwilling to contest and many even resented the party decision,” the Trinamool chief claimed.
“I seek blessings of the masses for those nominated as Trinamool candidate as we are committed to usher in a rapid change in the Bengal’s political scene in this election. This is a very very vital election which will bring about development in all spheres of life ending prolonged left front misrule,” Banerjee said.
Meanwhile, the Congress today said it would take a decision whether it would contest in only 64 seats in the 294-seat West Bengal Assembly.
“It is a very recent development. The top leadership of the party will consider and take a decision on it,” AICC general secretary (in charge of WB) Shakeel Ahmed said immediately after Trinamool released the list.
Asked about the deadline set by Banerjee for Congress to decide, Ahmed told a TV channel the party leadership would take a call on that.
He said it would have been better “if we had jointly announced the candidates’ lists”.
“We want an alliance with Trinamool Congress in West Bengal but further discussion is required. We want some more discussion and for that more time is required,” Congress spokesperson Janardhan Dwivedi told reporters in Delhi.
Pressed further to spell out the seat sharing formula in the state, he said, “There are different categories. Some seats are good, some are not good. Some constituencies are considered very good or not good like that. So, actually some more discussions are required.”
While Congress is pitching for at least 70 seats in the state, Trinamool is reportedly not ready to give more than 64 seats in the 294-seat Assembly.

 
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