The state unit of Trinamool Congress has submitted a preliminary list of 19 constituencies to party chief Mamata Banerjee for her approval. This includes Rae Bareli – Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s bastion.
This is probably the first time that the Mamata Banerjee-led party is targeting UP at such a large scale. In the 2009 parliamentary elections, it had contested from only the Lucknow constituency. In the first list of probables submitted today, the state unit has left SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s turf: Etawah and other constituencies such as Mainpuri, Kannauj and Firozabad.
The “prospective” constituencies include Varanasi, Azamgarh, Mirzapur, Faizabad, Lucknow, Mohanlalganj, Rae Bareli, Unnao, Bareilly, Pilibhit, Saharanpur, Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Gautam Budh Nagar, Mathura, Aligarh and Agra, said Saurav Bandhopadhyay, party’s senior vice-president and in-charge of central UP for the parliamentary polls.
On the selection of the candidates, party state president Shyam Sundar Singh said several criteria, including caste equations of other political parties’ candidates, was considered before finalising the list.
Enthused after teaming up with anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare, the party’s list is expected to grow in the days to come.
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Meanwhile, TMC’s state unit, along with Anna Hazare’s team are currently drawing up modalities for working together on candidate selection, but also on issues to be raised at the local and the state-level during the party’s campaign, Bandhopadhyay said. “The party will now focus on Anna’s 17-point agenda. The perspective candidates are being asked to fill forms, which include an affidavit from where the candidates needs to declare his faith in the 17-point agenda.”
The party has held rallies in central and eastern regions including Azamgarh, Mirzapur, Pilibhit, Bareilly and Lucknow in February. In March, party president Mamata Banerjee and other party leaders are expected to address rallies in other parts of the state.