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I.N.D.I. Alliance formally collapses in Bengal, Mamata Banerjee announces list of TMC candidates for all 42 seats in mega rally

Congress was hoping to form an alliance with TMC in Bengal, but now Mamata Banerjee has ended the possibility of any alliance in the state.

On 10th March, Trinamool Congress supremo and Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee announced the names of all 42 candidates for the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha Elections. Earlier, Banerjee had announced that TMC would contest the General Elections alone though the party is part of I.N.D.I. Alliance. Some of the notable names on the list include expelled MP Mahua Moitra and former cricketer Yusuf Pathan among others.

TMC general secretary Abhishek Banerjee announced the list of 42 candidates at the party’s mega rally “Jana Garjan Sabha” held at Kolkata’s Brigade Ground. Mamata Banerjee was also present at the rally. This was the first time that the party announced a candidates list from a public meeting, that too in one go.

Congress was hoping to form an alliance with TMC in Bengal, but now Mamata Banerjee has ended the possibility of any alliance in the state.

The candidates were present at the rally with CM Banerjee. While the names were being announced, Mamata Banerjee walked with all the candidates on the giant ramps built at the rally venue.

Yusuf Pathan will be contesting against Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Choudhury who has been winning the Berhampore seat since 1999. However, the margin of his win has dropped over the years. TMC has fielded actor Rachana Banerjee against former actor and BJP MP Locket Chatterjee in Hooghly district. Rachana hosted a reality show Didi No 1 where Mamata Banerje appeared recently.

Another movie star Dipak Adhikari has been fielded from Ghatal. Interestingly, current MPs Nusrat Jahan and Mimi Chakraborty did not get a ticket. Notably, Sandeshkhali falls under Nusrat Jahan’s Basirhat constituency. She had faced criticism for not visiting Sandeshkhali after protests by women alleging sexual exploitation by TMC leaders.

Earlier this week, IPS officer Prasun Banerjee resigned from his post. He has been fielded from the Malda North seat. Former BJP leader Kirti Azad who shifted to TMC a few years ago has been fielded from the Burdwan-Dyrgapur seat. During her speech, Banerjee said, “We will contest all 42 seats in West Bengal against the BJP, Left and the Congress. We will contest one seat in Uttar Pradesh in a tie-up with the Samajwadi Party (SP). I had a word with Akhilesh (Yadav). We are an opposition party in Meghalaya. We will contest there, and in Assam as well.”

List of TMC candidates

  • Cooch Behar – Jagdish Chandra Basunia
  • Alipurduar – Prakash Chik Baraik
  • Jalpaiguri – Nirmal Chandra Rai
  • Darjeeling – Gopal Lama
  • Raiganj – Krishna Kalyani
  • Balurghat – Biplab Mitra
  • Malda North – Prasun Banerjee
  • Malda South – Shanawaz Ali Rehan
    Jangipur – Khalilur Rehman
  • Berhampore – Yusuf Pathan
  • Murshidabad – Abu Taher Khan
  • Krishnanagar – Mahua Moitra
  • Ranaghat – Mukut Mani Adhikari
  • Bangaon _ Biswajit das
  • Barrackpore – Partha Bhowmick
  • Dum Dum – Saugata Roy
  • Barasat – Kakali Ghosh Dastidar
  • Basirhat – Haji Nurul Islam
  • Joynagar – Pratima Mondal
  • Mathurapur – Bapi Haldar
  • Diamond Harbour – Abhishek Banerjee
  • Jadavpur- Saayoni Ghosh
  • Kolkata South – Mala Roy
  • Kolkata North – Sudip Bandopadhyay
  • Howrah- Prasun Banerjee
  • Uluberia- Sajda Ahmed
  • Srirampur – Kalyan Banerjee
  • Hooghly- Rachana Banerjee
  • Arambagh- Mitali Bagh
  • Tamluk – Debangshu Bhattacharya
  • Kanthi – Uttam Barik
  • Ghatal – Dipak Adhikari
  • Jhargram – Kalipada Soren
    Midnapore – June Maliah
  • Purulia – Shantiram Mahato
  • Bankura – Arup Chakraborty
  • Bishnupur – Sujata Mondal Khan
  • Burdwan – Dr Sharmila Sarkar
  • Burdwan-Durgapur- Kirti Azad
  • Asansol – Shatrughan Sinha
  • Bolur – Asit Mal
  • Birbhum – Shatabdi Roy

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, TMC secured 22 seats while Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) secured 18 seats. Congress managed to win only two seats. Notably, in the 2014 General Elections, TMC had a larger share of Lok Sabha seats from West Bengal with 34 out of 42 seats.

West Bengal’s politics has kept the observers at the edge of their seats as leaders have been seen switching sides ahead of polls. TMC MLA Tapas Roy has recently shifted to BJP. Furthermore, former Calcutta High Court Judge Abhijit Gangopadhyay formally joined the BJP on 7th March. He might get a ticket for the upcoming General Elections.

Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal ‘disappointed’ I.N.D.I. Bloc

TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee and Aam Aadmi Party supremo Arvind Kejriwal showed their muscle when it came to seat sharing among the members of I.N.D.I. Bloc. While Arvind Kejriwal categorically refused to contest Lok Sabha elections in Punjab with Congress, Mamata Banerjee refused to share seats with Congress in West Bengal. Kejriwal claimed that his party would win all seats in Punjab and Chandigarh. On the other hand, Banerjee appears to be hopeful that she would gain back the Lok Sabha seats her party lost during the last General Elections.

Kejriwal’s AAP and Congress have already “mutually” decided to contest polls in Punjab separately. With Banerjee announcing the names for all Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal, I.N.D.I Alliance has virtually dismantled.

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