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Press Trust Of India
Lucknow, April 16, 2009
The Trinamool Congress of Mamata Banerjee is planning to expand roots beyond its bastion West Bengal and mark a presence in the most populous state of Uttar Pradesh by fielding a candidate from Lucknow. Confirming the party's ambition, its Rajya Sabha MP Mukul Roy said, "One candidate, Rajesh Pandey, has been fielded by the party and he will be contesting from the Lucknow Lok Sabha seat."

Speaking to PTI, Rajesh Pandey said, "I have been assigned to do the groundwork of establishing the party in Uttar Pradesh, which has a key role in national politics."

Asked if the party will be able to drum up support from people in the form of a victory in UP, where it is practically a non-starter, Pandey said: "Undoubtedly this Lok Sabha polls are quite crucial to the party but our main target is the next

Assembly elections, scheduled to be held in 2012."

"This Lok Sabha elections will be a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threat) analysis for the Trinamool Congress and it will help us devise a strategy for the next Assembly polls," said Pandey, who is also the editor of a local monthly magazine 'Maasik'.