West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee
Trinamool Congress (TMC) chairperson and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on March 5 released the list of candidates for 291 of the 294 assembly seats of the state going to polls in eight phases.
Three seats, Kurseong, Darjeeling and Kalimpong will be contested by TMC allies.
Mamata Banerjee will contest from Nandigram and vacate Bhabanipur seat that she represents. Instead, Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay will contest from Bhabanipur (Bhowanipore) seat, she announced.
"I will contest from Nandigram only," Banerjee said.
Nandigram, which goes to polls in second phase on April 1, is seen as one of the hotly-contested fight as the chief minister will likely be challenged by Suvendu Adhikari, her former aide who has now joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
READ: What Mamata Banerjee's Nandigram dare means in the West Bengal elections
The BJP is also expected to soon announce the names of at least 60 candidates who will be contesting in the first two phases of the polls.
In 2016 assembly elections, the TMC had come to power second time by bagging 211 of the 294 seats. The Congress had won 44 seats and the CPM 26 seats. The BJP could win only 3 seats.
The list includes 50 women and 42 Muslims, 79 SC and 17 ST candidates, she said. At least 28 MLAs, including finance minister Amit Mitra will not contest elections this time.
"We have decided to establish Vidhan Parishad and will adjust them there," she said.
West Bengal is witnessing a high-stakes battle between ruling TMC and the BJP. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee is facing a tough challenge from the latter amid a series of defections from her Trinamool Congress to the saffron party and corruption investigations against her party leaders, including her nephew Abhishek Banerjee.
The election for the 294 assembly seats will be held in eight phases
between March 27 and April 29. The results will be declared on May 2 along with the results of assembly polls Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.