The Congress Friday cleared 17 names, including six sitting MPs, in its first list of Lok Sabha candidates for West Bengal. The names will be declares soon, a senior Congress leader said, adding the remaining 25 names for the state will be finalised on March 12.
As per the party sources, Somen Mitra, who became the first Congress candidate to be selected through primaries, will be fielded from the North Kolkata constituency. Mitra, who returned to the Congress in January, had contested and won the 2009 election as Trinamool Congress candidate from Diamond Harbour constituency.
Others in the list include Union minister of state for Railways and PCC chief Adhir Ranjan Choudhury, Union minister Deepa Dasmunshi, Mousam Benazir Noor, Sukhvilas Verma and President Pranab Mukhwrjee’s son Abhijeet Mukherjee.
While the party has decided that senior leaders such as Abdul Mannan and Manas Bhuniya would contest the election, former PCC chief Pradip Bhattacharya won’t due to old age and ill health, said a leader. Among the new faces, Samir Aich, an artist who belonged to intellectual cell of the TMC, is likely to be fielded as Congress candidate from Jadavpur constituency. Senior Congress leader Asit Mitra will be fielded from Uluberia while Keshab Roy is likely to get ticket for Coochbehar constituency.
PCC general secretary Omprakash Mishra might be fielded from Balurghat constituency while Nepal Mahato is likely to contest from Purulia.
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The sitting MPs will be repeated from their seats.
PCC chief Adhir Choudhury said, Congress traditionally releases the names late. “We have a very long process of getting sanction for the candidates. Today 17 names have been cleared. Rest of the
25 candidates would be screened by central election committee and then the list will be released. However, we have included the sitting MPs in the list.”