Kolkata: Ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections with the BJP as a chief contender, CM Mamata Banerjee declared final approval for their lineup of the 291 candidates. She also announced, after the party meeting at her residence, that she is leaving her home turf of Bhawanipur to try and win Nandigram from Suvendu Adhikari at all costs. Nandigram is considered a stronghold for Suvendu, a former minister for the TMC, who had quit the party and joined the BJP.
Sovandeb Chattopadhyay will replace her in Bhawanipur as the TMC candidate. Mamata, in her announcement, also declared that leaders above 80 years of age would not contest with TMC tickets resulting in 20 sitting MLAs being set aside. The TMC has fielded 50 women, 42 Muslim, 79 SC, and 17 ST candidates.
The lineup of famous people contesting under the TMC banner include actors Sayantika Banerji, Kaushani Mukherjee, Lauli Maitra, Sayoni Ghosh, Chiranjith Chakraborty, Director Raj Chakraborty, Prof. Omprakash Mishra, and cricketer Manoj Tiwari.
Meanwhile, Suvendu Adhikari had already expressed readiness to contest against Mamata in Nandigram with a BJP ticket. This was announced by Rajib Banerji, another former TMC minister who switched sides along with Adhikari. Everyone is anxious whether Mamata will take on the BJP leadership's challenge to face them at Nandigram instead of her seat at Bhowanipur.
The elections are set to commence in Bengal on March 27, and will happen in Eight phases. The results will be declared by May 2.