Kolkata, March 4: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday announced the list of candidates of her Trinamool Congress (TMC) for the six-phase election beginning April 4.
She fielded former cricketer Laxmi Ratan Shukla from Howrah North constituency; Vaishali Dalmiya, daughter of late cricket administrator Jagmohan Dalmiya from Bally; former Indian football captain Baichung Bhutia from Siliguri; leaders from the hills of North Bengal Harka Bahadur Chhetri and Shanta Chhetri from Kalimpong and Karseong, respectively; Bengali film actor Soham from Borjora in Bankura; footballer Rahim Nabi from Pandua, among others.
The TMC supremo said her party has fielded 45 women and 57 minority candidates in this year's election, which is more than what it had done in the 2011 election.
"We tried to do it as fairly as we could. But we can't field everybody and hence had to accommodate a few at the expense of some others. Also, some of our leaders are not well and we had to find their replacements," she said.
Banerjee, however, was not happy with the six-phase election scheduled for Bengal ove seven days, the highest among the five states going to election this year. While Assam will go to a two-phase election, the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry will see a single-phase polling on May 16.
"Even a state like Assam which experiences communal tension will go to a two-phase election. We don't have such problems, yet it is six-phase for us," she said.
She said Bengal always ends up as a victim of conspiracy.
The leader also lashed out at Opposition parties like the Left, Congress and BJP, accusing them of woking hand-in-gloves. She said the Left and Congress have forged an immoral alliance and also accused the BJP of trying to ruin the TMC's hard work in the state.