The Left Front on Monday announced its first list of 116 candidates for the six-phase Assembly elections, beginning April 4.
Unlike the Trinamool Congress, which issued a press statement and released the list of all 294 party candidates within barely an hour of the Election Commission of India announcing the poll schedule on Friday, the CPM, along with Front partners CPI and the Forward Bloc, remained huddled in a meeting for hours before Left Front chairman Biman Bose finally met the media on Monday.
Almost anticipating the media’s questions regarding the list, Bose said the Front has always announced its candidates in phases. “We announced all candidates ahead of the elections in one meeting in only one year, 1982,” he said.
There are 69 new candidates, 16 women candidates and 25 minority candidates in the first list.
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The confusion, however, was apparent at the CPM office in the run-up to the toughest fight in decades for the party’s very survival. “We had decided to put up the manifesto on the (party) website but had to take it off because…our allies raised certain issues that needed to be incorporated,” Bose said. “If the media also has suggestions that need to be incorporated, journalists can approach us. We will definitely consider including relevant issues.”
He also emphasised that the CPM will not share platform with the Congress, or “any other secular party contesting the polls”, during the campaigning .