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Undeterred by Anna’s absence, Mamata announces second list

Undeterred by Anna’s absence, Mamata announces second list
The West Bengal chief minister and AITC supremo Mamata Banerjee said: ‘In the first list which was announced earlier we have declared names of 48 candidates and today we are announcing 30 more.’ ‘We want potential candidates from each constituency and if somebody wants to contest election then he or she should have strong pro-people image in his or her respective area.’

In the second list, most of the candidates were selected from Kerala which include some economists, engineers and journalists. A total of twelve candidates were selected from Kerala including KT Paul who was an active worker of the CPI (M), but had recently expressed his willingness to contest the Lok Sabha elections on behalf of AITC from Ernakulam constituency. From Bihar, two candidates are going to contest which includes former MLA Tarkeshwar Singh and former minister Ram Awadesh Singh. They are going to contest from Maharajgunj and Karakat constituencies respectively.

The party has decided to field two candidates each from Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh and four candidates from Assam. The candidates who are going to contest from Jharkhand are Chandra Shekhar Dubey (former MP) who is going to contest from Dhanbad and Kameshwar Baitha (former MP) who is going to contest from Palamu. When told there are criminal charges against Baitha, Mamata said: ‘The party will look in to the matter’. She questioned why the media is not highlighting those candidates of BJP and Congress who are facing serious criminal charges.

In the national capital, the party has decided to field veteran actor Biswajit from South Delhi constituency. Another artiste, this time from Assam, Dhebar Gohain, is going to contest from Laxmipur constituency. The AITC second list of candidates also includes former Governor Ranjit Shekhar Mooshahary who is going to contest form Kokrajhar constituency in Assam and former IAS Tulsi Garg who is going to contest from Meerut constituency in Uttar Pradesh.

The candidate from Mirzapur constituency in Uttar Pradesh is Vineet Sahay. One candidate each from Arunachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra were given tickets to contest the polls.

Earlier in the day, Mamata addressed a public meeting at Ramlila Maidan where anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare could not attend because of severe ‘chest congestion’. Sources said Anna supporter Santosh Bharatiya was given overall charges to organise the rally but he failed to mobilise Anna supporters to come to Ramlila Maidan, which angered another section of Team Anna.

A close aide of Anna, Sunita Godara, in a television interview claimed that the anti-corruption crusader didn’t turn up because of fewer crowds.Soon after addressing the crowd, Mamata called for a press conference, following Anna’s last-minute withdrawal, and said, ‘I don’t blame anyone for Anna ji absence in the rally. I came to know that he is not well. I am happy that he had endorsed me being such a senior man. He is an aged man and can’t attend every meeting.’

She clarified it was not a political rally but a social rally with a message for the people of this country. ‘I came here despite having loads of work in West Bengal just for Anna ji. When I promise, I try to keep that promise. I can work with anyone if they are positive and constructive. She also lambasted the BJP, Congress and CPI (M) for taking this country towards corruption and penury.
M Post Bureau

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