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Cong tussle leaves gaps in 4th list

The differences among senior Congress leaders in West Bengal surfaced once again, writes Saroj Nagi.

india Updated: Apr 02, 2006 15:48 IST
Saroj Nagi

The differences among senior Congress leaders in West Bengal surfaced once again, with the AICC failing to identify candidates for three crucial districts - Murshidabad, Malda and Dinajpur - in its fourth list of 69 notables on Saturday.

Virtually every prominent leader, including Union Ministers Pranab Mukherjee and Priyaranjan Dasmunshi and MPs Ghani Khan Chaudhary, Adhir Chaudhary and Abdul Mannan Hossain, has a stake in the 50-odd assembly seats that fall in their respective parliamentary constituencies covering these regions.

Saturday's list also highlighted two other things: one that the party is yet to find a candidate to contest against West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharya from Jadavpur and two, it has named some erstwhile Trinamool members as its candidates.

Two of Mamata Bannerjee's former confidantes - former Kolkata Mayor Subrata Mukherjee and ex-Trinamool MP Sudip Bandhopadhyaya - figure in the list. So does Mala Roy. Mukherjee will contest from Chowringhee and Bandhopadhyaya from Bowbazar.

With Saturday's nomination, the number of nominees announced by the Congress has gone up to 167.

The party is likely to come out with the names of 89 more candidates for the 294-member assembly on Monday, while leaving the remaining seats for its allies. The Congress manifesto is expected to be released on April 6.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will campaign in the state, though they would not be going there for the first phase (of the five phased election) in view of the restriction imposed on the use of microphones because of examinations.