Mamata Banerjee on Friday announced TMC candidate list for 291 out of total 294 constituencies for the upcoming West Bengal polls, which will be held in eight phases between March 27 and April 29. Votes will be counted on May 2.
Three candidates of the Bimal Gurung faction of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), an ally of the TMC, will be contesting from the remaining three seats in Darjeeling.
"This time we have stressed on more youths and women candidates. Around 23-24 sitting MLAS have been dropped and there are names of about 50 women, 42 muslims, 79 SC and 17 ST candidates in the list," Banerjee said.
"I will contest from Nandigram, my party colleague Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay will be fighting from Bhawanipore seat. We have given assembly poll tickets to eminent personalities from the field of arts, sports, media and culture," the TMC supremo said.
23-24 existing TMC MLAs have been dropped due to age and other reasons, said the West Bengal CM.
"Have faith in me, only TMC can take Bengal to new heights. After we come to power we will create Vidhan Parishad to accomodate senior and experienced leaders," she said.
"I thank Tejashwi Yadav, Arvind Kejriwal, Hemant Soren and Shiv Sena for extending their support to me. I am going to Nandigram on 9th March. On 10th March, I will file the nomination at Haldia," said Mamata while announcing candidate list.
Exuding confidence of returning to power for the third consecutive time, Banerjee termed it as the "easiest" election the TMC has ever faced.
Banerjee also challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to deploy as much central force as it wants but the TMC will still emerge victorious.
With the BJP's strength increasing in the state in the last few years, its leaders are upbeat that the party will end Mamata Banerjee's 10-year rule in the assembly polls.