Nominations raise question on party’s policy of ‘one person, one post.
At a time when the Trinamool Congress is at an all-time high, the party has fielded a Lok Sabha MP, six MLAs and several family members of key leaders including the sister-in-law of party chairperson Mamata Banerjee for the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) election.
Political observers say inclusion of the South Kolkata MP and the MLAs is a deviation from the party’s recently announced stand of “one person, one post”.
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Kajari Banerjee, sister-in-law of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, is contesting from ward number 73. The Chief Minister’s residence 30 B Harish Chatterjee Street falls in the ward.
The other relatives of prominent TMC leaders include Puja Panja, daughter of Women and Child Development Minister Sashi Panja from ward number 8. Tanima Chatterjee, sister of former Minister Subrata Mukherjee who passed away recently, has been nominated from ward number 68.
The other candidates include Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya’s son Sourav Bose, MLA Swarnakamal Saha son Sandipan Saha and Rajya Sabha MP Santanu Sen’s wife Kakoli Sen and Vasundhara Goswami, daughter of former Minister in the Left Front Government and general secretary of the Revolutionary Socialist Party Kshiti Goswami.
No decision of Mayor
The TMC has fielded six MLAs including outgoing Mayor and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the KMC Firhad Hakim. The other MLAs are Atin Ghosh, Debasish Kumar, Debabrata Majumdar, Paresh Pal and Ratna Chattopadhyay.
The very surprise inclusion among the list is South Kolkata MP Mala Roy. The TMC leadership said a decision on the Mayor will be taken after the polls. There was speculation that former Union Minister Babul Supriyo, who joined the TMC a few months ago, would be nominated. However, the party has decided not to field him.
The list of 142 names has a clear imprint of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and indicates that the party has favoured loyalists. The announcement was made late on Friday after a marathon meeting between Chief Minister, TMC general secretary Abhishek Banerjee and poll strategist Prashant Kishor.
45 % candidates are women
The TMC has nominated 64 women candidates which is 45 % of the 142 candidates declared. It has dropped 39 councillors.
The Left Front has also announced its list of 114 candidates. The nominees include young faces and women and many who were part of the group “Red Volunteers” who reached out to people during the pandemic. They have left 16 seats to the Congress.
There are 144 wards in the KMC which will go to the polls on December 19. The Calcutta High Court will hear a petition by the BJP on November 29 on holding the polls to all 112 civic bodies on a single day. The BJP is likely to announce its list in the next few days.
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