NEW DELHI: TMC chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday announced her decision to contest from Nandigram.
“Today, we are releasing a list of 291 candidates which includes 50 women, 42 Muslim candidates. On 3 seats of north Bengal, we not putting up our candidates. I will contest from Nandigram,” said Mamata Banerjee.
The development comes after suspense over whether Mamata will leave her home turf Bhowanipore this time.
“From Bhowanipore constituency, Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay will be contesting in the upcoming assembly elections,” the CM said.
Former TMC leader Suvendu Adhikari had earlier offered to contest on a BJP ticket from Nandigram against Mamata Banerjee.
His BJP colleague and former Bengal minister Rajib Banerjee spoke about the development after the Bengal poll meeting held at party president J P Nadda’s Delhi home on Thursday for over five hours.
Bengal could now witness a royal fight between Mamata Banerjee and Suvendu, her former lieutenant in the Nandigram anti-farmland acquisition stir of 2007.
In 2019, Trinamool bagged 1,30,659 votes from Nandigram while BJP secured 62,268 votes and Left 9,353.
Despite having the numbers in her favour, Banerjee won’t just be fighting Suvendu but the entire Adhikari family (though father Sisir and brother Dibyendu are still with Trinamool). Suvendu had announced the strategy for turning the Trinamool margin upside down from a public meeting in Hooghly on January 21.
“They (Trinamool) are relying on 62,000 votes (in Nandigram) but I have the support of 2.13 lakh people who chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’,” he had said, pointing directly to a polarisation battle between BJP and Trinamool. Suvendu had also announced he would fetch votes from the other camp too.