Trinamul, which is eyeing a win in the Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad (SMP) elections for the first time, on Sunday announced the list of its candidates for the upcoming June 26 polls.
The SMP is a unique set up in the country formed for Siliguri sub-division in 1989 after Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council was formed for the hilly areas of Darjeeling district in 1988.
The SMP basically is a three-tier panchayat arrangement for the sub-division as the rest of the sub-divisions in Darjeeling district do not have the provision for a three-tier panchayat system.
Minister Aroop Biswas, who came from Calcutta, announced the list from the Trinamul office in Siliguri.
Some of the prominent faces of the party who have been fielded for the election are Jyoti Tirkey, the former sabhadhipati of the SMP, Ainul Haque, who was the leader of the Opposition of the SMP and Kajol Ghosh, another Trinamul leader in the Left-ruled SMP board.
Tirkey will contest from Matigara-3, Haque from Phansidewa 8 and Ghosh from Kharibari 5.
Other popular faces in rural Siliguri who have been fielded this time are Arun Ghosh and Nalini Ranjan Roy who will contest from Naxalbari 1 and 2, respectively, Priyanka Biswas from Matigara-4, Kishori Mohan Singha Roy from Kharibari-6, Kumudini Baraik and Roma Reshmi Ekka from Phansidewa 7 and 9.
The party, however, is yet to decide on the face of sabhadhipati which is reserved for an OBC candidate.
“The party supremo Mamata Banerjee is the ultimate face of Trinamul and we are banking on her for the upcoming election here,” minister Biswas said when asked about the party's face for the SMP poll.
The minister reached Siliguri in the morning and met with the party leaders of hills and plains before declaring the list of candidates for the SMP and GTA elections.
“We failed to win the SMP election earlier, but after considering the result of previous Assembly election last year and civic body election of Siliguri Municipal Corporation in February this year, we are confident of winning the ensuing rural body poll,” said a senior Trinamul leader.
Party sources said that their poll strategy was clear. “We have to reach out to the maximum number of people highlighting the many social welfare schemes that our chief minister Mamata Banerjee has rolled out through her Duare Sarkar programme,” a senior leader of Trinamul said.