Didi delays second list, calls off Haryana rally

Anna Hazare in Delhi, Thursday. Anil Sharma Anna Hazare in Delhi, Thursday. Anil Sharma

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee Thursday postponed declaration of another list of Lok Sabha candidates and called off a party rally in Kurukshetra, Haryana, a day after social activist Anna Hazare chose to skip the highly-touted joint public meeting at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan, leaving the party red-faced.

The West Bengal chief minister left for Kolkata in the morning. But Anna went ahead with his scheduled appointments, including a meeting with former India Against Corruption colleagues to discuss the modalities of support to Independent candidates in the coming elections.

Anna’s aides, however, said he could not sit through the meeting because of “weakness”. “He did meet people who came, he also attended the meeting with Mr Rajagopal and others but the meeting was inconclusive as Annaji could not sit for long,” said his aide. Anna had skipped the Trinamool’s Jantantra rally on health grounds, after his associates informed him about the poor turnout at the venue.

Mamata, who declared Wednesday her party’s second list of 30 candidates , including for one seat in Delhi, apparently in a huff after the Anna no-show, had said that over the next two days more names will be announced.

Party’s official Twitter handle had announced Wednesday evening: “We are declaring 30 seats all over India today”. TMC sources said some pending issues are being sorted out, and further names will now be announced from Kolkata where the party’s parliamentary board meets Friday.

LDF list out, NCP doesn’t get any seat

Thiruvanathpuram: Five Independents and four sitting MPs are in the list of 15 CPM candidates, whose names were announced Thursday. In the LDF, CPM would contest in 15 seats, CPI in 4 and JD(S) in one.

CPM did not heed to the demand of the NCP for a seat. CPM politburo member M A Baby would take on Congress-backed RSP candidate N K Premachandran in Kollam.

Forward Bloc leader G Devarajan has also announced his candidature in Kollam. In Idukki, the hub of protests against Kasturirangan report on Western Ghats, CPM has picked Joys George, a leader of the high range protection committee, which is backed by the church.

Actor Innocent would take on Congress leader P C Chacko in Chalakkudy, while former IAS officer Christy Fernandez is pitted against union minister K V Thomas in Ernakulam. CPI has fielded independent candidate Dr Bennet Abraham in Thiruvananthapuram against Shashi Tharoor. ENS