Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee will release the complete list of candidates for all the 294 constituencies in West Bengal on March 5. The list will have several new faces including youth leaders, celebrities and people from the civil society. There will be at least five cabinet ministers who will be asked to contest from other constituencies, while some may not get tickets on health grounds and due to old age factors.
There are names who failed to perform well in 2016 Assembly polls but worked hard for the party on the ground level in the last five years may get another chance to contest the polls.
On the candidate’s list, Mamata had earlier said that the battle in Bengal is between her and the BJP and it does not matter who will contest on behalf of the TMC and from where. “Just think that I am contesting from all the 294 seats and vote for TMC so that we can give a befitting reply to BJP,” she had said.
This is for the first time when the TMC and BJP is taking so much time to announce the candidates list after the Election Commission’s announcement on February 26.
Meanwhile, the central election committee of the BJP will meet on March 4 to finalise their first list of candidates for West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu.
The meeting is likely to be chaired by top BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.
It was learnt that the BJP will clear its candidates for the first phase of the polls scheduled for March 27 in Assam and in West Bengal. Rest of the candidate’s names will be released gradually.
West Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh, Mukul Roy, Kailash Vijayvargiya will attend the meeting to discuss the names of candidates for their State and they have already left for Delhi.
There are speculations that cricketer Manoj Tiwari and actor Saayoni Ghosh may get ticket on behalf of the TMC, while Dilip Ghosh, Rajib Banerjee, Jitendra Tiwari and Suvendu Adhikari will contest from Kharagpur Sadar, Domjur (Howrah), Pandebeswar (Burdwan) and Nandigram (East Midnapore), respectively on the BJP ticket.