File photo: West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress party leader Mamata Banerjee. (AP)
File photo: West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress party leader Mamata Banerjee. (AP)

Actors, sportsmen to writers in TMC's star-studded candidate list for polls

  • Award-winning Bengali Dalit writer, ex-IPS officers and celebrated actors are among the few newcomers who Bengal's 'didi' has given a chance.
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 07:23 PM IST

Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Friday released a star-studded candidate list for 291 assembly seats for the upcoming West Bengal elections. While the chief minister has dropped the names of at least 27 sitting MLAs, several new faces, including actors, sportsmen, ex IPS officers and writers, have been given a chance.

Here's taking a look at some interesting candidates.

Manoranjan Byapari

The award-winning Bengali Dalit writer was born in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) in a Dalit family and had migrated to West Bengal when he was three years old. He had even served a jail term for his alleged Naxal links. Raised in refugee camps, the writer never received a formal education. Later, he started pulling rickshaws in Kolkata and even worked as a cook in a school for more than two decades. In 2020, he was made the chairman of the Dalit Sahitya Academy set up by chief minister Mamata Banerjee. He has been pitted from Balagarh in Hooghly, a seat reserved for SC.

Ratna Chatterjee

The estranged wife of Sovan Chatterjee, former mayor of Kolkata Municipal Corporation, has been fielded from Behala Purba, the same constituency from where Sovan Chatterjee had won with a TMC ticket earlier. The spat between the couple made headlines when it came to the public domain. Sovan Chatterjee was once a favourite of TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee but the rift between the mayor and the CM widened over problems in Chatterjee’s personal life, causing an embarrassment to the TMC. Later, Sovan and his friend Baisakhi Banerjee joined the BJP. Sovan has already expressed his willingness to contest from Behala Purba with a BJP ticket.

Also read: Suvendu Adhikari is BJP’s choice against CM Mamata Banerjee on Nandigram seat

Sayoni Ghosh

She joined the TMC along with a slew of celebrities on February 24. The actress was recently embroiled in a controversy over her remarks against the BJP and subsequent trolling. Veteran BJP leader and former Governor of Tripura and Meghalaya Tathagata Roy filed a complaint against Ghosh accusing her of hurting his religious sentiments. Later, she was backed by Mamata Banerjee. A BJP MP also made derogatory remarks against Ghosh and her family for which the BJP later apologised.

“I am grateful to Didi (Mamata Banerjee) that she has shown her faith in me. She said that we have young blood and hence we need to work hard. I would stay amidst the people and work for them,” Ghosh told media persons soon after her name was announced as a TMC candidate from Asansol Dakshin. Union minister Babul Supriyo had won the Asansol Lok Sabha constituency in 2019.

Humayun Kabir

A former IPS officer, Kabir had quit as the police commissioner of Chandannagar in January 2021, just three months before his scheduled retirement. He joined the TMC in February. His wife Anindita Kabir is already with the Trinamool Congress. He had made the headlines, a few days before quitting, when he ordered the arrest of three BJP workers for raising ‘Goli Maro’ slogans in a public rally. Kabir started his career as a school teacher soon after completing his masters. He has also authored books and even directed a short film ‘Aleya’. He has hit the headlines several times in the past for arresting some of the most notorious criminals in the state and investigating some of the controversial cases. The TMC has fielded him from Debra, his home turf.

Raj Chakraborty

A noted Tollywood director, Chakraborty joined the TMC in February along with a host of other celebrities. On Friday, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee announced the candidate list fielding Chakraborty form one of the toughest constituencies, Barrackpore. Heavyweight BJP MP Arjun Singh won from Barrackpore.

Chakraborty’s challenge is however two-fold. While on one hand he has to face the BJP MP who has much sway in that area, on the other hand being a newcomer in TMC he also has to face the TMC supporters, a section of whom, have already voiced their disgruntlement. Chakraborty, however, sounded confident of his victory and said that he would win the seat and gift it to the TMC supremo. As for the disgruntlement, he said, "Initially some small differences may crop up. But once I visit the constituency, start working with the people and speak to them, I am sure everything would be sorted out".

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