West Bengal polls: Congress announces first list of 13 candidates, fields Nepal Mahato from Baghmundi
Seven of the 13 Congress contestants in the list are fresh faces. Neither the Congress nor the Left Front has announced any name for the Nandigram seat.
New Delhi: The Congress on Saturday announced its first list of 13 candidates for the West Bengal Assembly elections.
According to the list, four-time MLA and deputy leader of the Congress Legislature Party, Nepal Mahato, has been fielded from Baghmundi constituency in Purulia district.
Important Notification regarding West Bengal Candidates pic.twitter.com/uwLDBP2mLM
— INC Sandesh (@INCSandesh) March 6, 2021
However, neither the Congress nor the Left Front has announced any name for the Nandigram seat in Purba Medinipur district, where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is pitted against former cabinet colleague and BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari.
Speculations are rife that the Congress and the Left Front will leave the seat for their alliance partner, the Abbas Siddiqui-led Indian Secular Front, as the seat has a significant number of minority voters.
The Congress is set to contest 92 seats in the 294-member Assembly.
Seven of the 13 Congress contestants, whose names were announced during the day, are fresh faces.
Of the 13 seats, the Congress had won the Purulia and Baghmundi constituencies in the 2016 Assembly elections.
Partha Pratim Banerjee has been fielded from Purulia in place of sitting MLA Sudip Mukherjee, who has recently joined the BJP.
The ISF has been given five seats in the first two phases so far. It is yet to be decided which party will contest the Egra, Nandigram and Pingla seats, Left Front chairman Biman Bose had said on Friday.
As per the announcements made so far for the seats in the first two phases of polling, the Left Front will contest 38 seats, followed by the Congress (13) and ISF (five).
The ISF has been allotted the Mahisadal, Chandrakona, Raghunathpur, Saltora and Raipur seats. The Congress has been given the Purulia, Bhagabanpur, Balarampur, Baghmundi, Bankura, Bisnupur, Kotulpur, Patharpratima, Kakdwip, Moyna, Kharagpur Sadar and Sabang seats.
ISF leader Simul Soren said that the party will announce the candidate list in the next couple of days.
Asked whether the ISF wants to contest the Nandigram seat, he said, "It is subject to discussion."
Elections to the 294-member assembly will be held in eight phases from 27 March to 29 April. Votes will be counted on 2 May.
The TMC supremo ridiculed Narendra Modi's recent claim that the BJP had already won 100 seats in the four phases of the election
Basirhat Dakshin recorded a voter turnout of 86.81 percent in the 2016 election, when 2,16,862 voters exercised their franchise.
Basirhat Uttar Assembly constituency will go to the polls on 17 April, during the fifth phase of the 2021 Assembly election.