In pics: High-profile candidates contesting Bengal election on April 25
Kolkata, April 23: Forty-nine constituencies will go to polls on April 25 (Monday), when the fourth of the six-phase election will be held.
A number of high-profile candidatefrom various parties are in the fray in this phase. The fate of West Bengal's Finance Minister Amit Mitra will be decided in this phase as he will take on his predecessor Asim Dasgupta. [Top issues of Bengal elections 2016]
BJP's celebrity candidate Roopa Ganguly will take on Trinamool Congress's (TMC) Laxmi Ratan Shukla, a former international cricketer while Baishali Dalmiya, the daughter of late cricket administrator Jagmohan Dalmiya will contest against BJP's actor candidate Kaushik Chakraborti.
Here is a look at some of the high-profile candidates of phase four of Bengal election.
Chiranjit Chakraborty - TMC
TMC candidates Chiranjeet Chakraborty (left) and Debashree Roy (centre) with Tparty MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar at an election campaign and road show at Barasat in North 24 Parganas. Chiranjeet won from this seat 40,000-plus margin in 2011 against Forward Bloc's Sanjib Chattapadhyay, who he is taking on this time again.
Amit Mitra - TMC
A highly qualified candidate of the TMC, Amit Mitra is contesting from Khardaha in North 24 Parganas, where he had defeated veteran CPI(M) leader Asim Dasgupta in 2011 by 26,154 votes. This contest is seen as one between the finance ministers since Dasgupta was the holder of that post before the change of guards five years ago.
Asim Dasgupta - CPI(M)
Dr Asim Dasgupta was the MLA from Khardaha constituency, a stronghold of the Left since 1962, for five times between 1987 and 2011 when he was defeated by Amit Mitra. Dasgupta served as the finance minister of the previous Left government for 24 years. Can the veteran Left leader take advantage of the anti-incumbency against the TMC government?
Roopa Ganguly - BJP
The actor-politician of the BJP will contest her maiden election from Howrah North, a constituency which has been held by either the Left or the Congress in the past before the TMC won it in 2011, thanks to the Mamata Banerjee wave. This time, Ganguly will take on TMC's Laxmi Ratan Shukla, a former cricketer and Congress's Santosh Pathak to make an impact for the saffron party in this seat.
Laxmi Ratan Shukla - TMC
Laxmi Ratan Shukla, the 34-year-old candidate of the TMC in Howrah North where he will take on the Congress's Santosh Pathak and the BJP's Roopa Ganguly in a bid to protect the seat for his party. This is the first-ever election Shukla, a former veteran in domestic cricket who also had a short stint in international cricket. The Howrah lad joined the TMC earlier this year after quitting cricket.
Samik Bhattacharjee - BJP
Samik Bhattacharjee became the first and the only BJP MLA in the outgoing Assembly in West Bengal when he closely beat the TMC's Dipendu Bishwas in Basirhat South constituency bypoll in 2014 following the death of the sitting MLA of the CPI(M). Bhattacharjee is one of the major hopes of the BJP in this election and it could be seen after Prime Minister Narendra Modi campaigned in his constituency on April 21.
Vaishali Dalmiya - TMC
Vaishali Dalmiya, daughter of late cricket administrator Jagmohan Dalmiya, was a surprise pick of the TMC in this election. Vaishali will eye to protect the seat which was won by the TMC for the first time in 2011. She will take on former Left minister Anjan Bera and the BJP's celebrity candidate Kaushik Chakraborty.
Santosh Kumar Pathak - Congress
Santosh Kumar Pathak will take on two celebrity candidates---BJP's Roopa Ganguly and the TMC's Laxmi Ratan Shukla from Howrah North constituency. Pathak had contested the 2014 bypoll from Chowringhee constituency but finished third after the winner Nayana Banerjee of the TMC and Ritesh Tiwari of the BJP. In the picture here, Pathak is seen with Congress spokesperson Sarmistha Mukherjee, the daughter of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee.
Madan Mitra - TMC
Madan Mitra, the former transport minister of Bengal and an accused in the Saradha chit-fund scam and the more recent Narada sting operation, is one of the most talked-about candidates of this election. The tainted Mitra has been fielded from the same Kamarhati seat in North 24 Parganas from where he had won in 2011 by over 24,000 votes. Mitra is contesting this election from jail.
Kaushik Chakraborty - BJP
Actor Kaushik Chakraborty has been fielded by the BJP to take on Vaishali Dalmiya, daughter of the late Jagmohan Dalmiya, and former state minister Anjan Bera from Bally constituency in Howrah.
Dipendu Bishwas - TMC
Former footballer Dipendu Biswas will renew his rivalry with BJP's Samik Bhattacharjee to who he lost by a close margin in the 2014 bypoll in Basirhat South constituency. Biswas is confident of reversing the results this time after successfully leading the TMC's campaign in the municipal election in Baisrhat last year. In this photo, Biswas is seen with football king Pele after the latter came to Kolkata in October last year.