Kolkata: Trinamool has not given tickets to ten of its sitting MPs to contest this Lok Sabha polls. Of them, one MP had recently defected to the BJP and another was expelled from the party.
The party has also allotted the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat to its ally Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (Tamang Faction). GJM Darjeeling MLA Amar Singh Roy will contest in the Lok Sabha seat as a Trinamool backed candidate.
Party supremo Mamata Banerjee released the list of candidates for the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state this afternoon. This came after she held a meeting with Trinamool steering committee members and the presidents of the district units at her Kalighat residence.
The ten MPs who do not figure in Trinamool’s candidate list are ~ Partha Pratim Roy of Cooch Behar, Saumitra Khan of Bishnupur, Anupam Hazra of Bolpur, Sandhya Roy of Midnapore, Uma Soren of Jhargram, Tapas Mondal of Ranaghat, Tapas Pal of Krishnanagar, Idris Ali of Bashirhat, Subrata Bakshi of Kolkata South, and Sugata Bose of Jadavpur.
Khan, the MP of Bishnupur, defected to the BJP in January; Bolpur MP Hazra was expelled by Trinamool in the same month.
Mamata Banerjee maintained that while most of the MPs, not in the candidate list, have themselves said that they want to spend more time for the party organisation than going to the Lok Sabha.
“In a few cases, we had to change the candidates taking all factors into consideration,” she said.
Banerjee specifically named Sugata Bose, the great-grandson of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Trinamool state unit president Subrata Bakshi, and actress Sandhya Roy saying that they have voluntarily given up their seats this election.
“Bose has not got permission from Harvard University to contest. Sandhya and Bakshi want to spare more time for the party organisation,” the Trinamool chief said by taking the latter two by her side.
Even as these sitting MPs have been relived, state Panchayat minister and senior leader Subrata Mukherjee has been fielded from Bankura Lok Sabha seat.
Idris Ali, who has been denied a ticket from Bashirhat, will contest the Assembly by-poll from Uluberia seat. President of the Matua Mahasangha, Pramath Nath Bose will the contest Assembly by-poll from Krishnaganj seat in Nadia.
Uluberia seat had fallen vacant due to the sudden demise of Deputy Speaker Haider Aziz Safwi. Krishnaganj Trinamool MLA Satyajit Biswas was shot dead by miscreants last month.
Banerjee has announced that Satyajit’s young widow, Rupali Biswas, will contest the Lok Sabha polls from Krishnanagar seat.
Trinamool has also sprung a surprise by fielding contemporary Bengali film actress Mimi Chakraborty from Jadavpur seat spread over parts of Kolkata and South 24-Parganas.
Another actress Nusrat Jahan has been given ticket from Bashirhat seat in North 24-Parganas.
Among the 42 candidates, 17 are women. This accounts for 41 per cent, which is up from the 35 per cent women candidates that Trinamool had fielded in the 2014 elections.
“We are witnessing an unprecedented situation in the country. This election is a challenging election. On one hand, there’s the misrule of Modi Babu. On the other hand, fundamentalist politics of the BJP are trying to divide the country,” the Trinamool chief said.
She added that the party will field candidates in some seats in Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Assam, and Andaman. This is to retain the party’s pan-India recognition, she explained.