WB Assembly Elections 2021, Key Candidates of West Bengal Elections 2021: Five key candidates trying their luck in first phase of polling are actress June Malia, former Left Cabinet minister Susanta Ghosh, Congress leder Nepal Mahata, All Jharkhand Students Union's Ashutosh Mahato and former Left tribal affairs minister Deblina Hembram.
Former CPIM Cabinet minister Susanta Ghosh (left) and June Malia of TMC.
West Bengal Elections 2021, key candidates: Five key candidates trying their luck in first phase of polling are actress and TMC candidate from Medinipur June Malia, former Left Cabinet minister Susanta Ghosh, Congress leder Nepal Mahata, All Jharkhand Students Union’s Ashutosh Mahato and former Left tribal affairs minister Deblina Hembram. Susanta Ghosh is Left candidate from Salboni, Nepal Mahata is Congress candidate from Baghmundi, Ashutosh Mahato is also contesting from Baghmundi, and Deblina Hembram is Left candidate from Ranibandh.
June Malia from Medinipur: June Malia is a known Bengali actress, who has worked in the film and television industry. Before taking the political plunge, she also performed in a documentary, web series and short films. Malia is also a member of the state’s Women Commission. The TMC has fielded Malia against Shamit Das of the BJP and Tarun Kumar Ghosh of the CPIM. The Medinipur constituency has elected TMC candidate Mrigendra Nath Maiti twice, in 2011 and 2016. This time, the fight is expected to be between Malia and BJP’s Shamit Das as the Medinipur region is one of the bastions of the Adhikari family, which is now backing the BJP.
Susanta Ghosh from Salboni: CPIM’s Susanta Ghosh is a very controversial figure for his alleged role in abduction and killing of Trinamool Congress workers in 2002. He was a state cabinet minister in the 7th Left Front government headed by then chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya. Ghosh represented the Garbeta assembly from 1987 to 2016. The Left leader was arrested in August for the murder of seven persons and spent six months in jail but secured bail from the Supreme Court in February 2012.
Nepal Mahata from Baghmundi: Nepal Mahata is a sitting Congress candidate from Baghmundi. In 2016, Nepal defeated TMC leader Samir Mahato by over 8,000 votes. Nepal had got 88,707 votes while Samir secured 80,120 votes and BJP’s Jyotirmay Singh Mahato could get just 11,219 votes. Nepal had also won this seat in 2011, when he defeated Mangal Mahato of All India Forward Bloc. Four-time MLA, Nepal Mahata has represented Jhalda (twice) and Baghmundi (twice) in the Assembly. A teacher by profession, Nepal is also serving as the Working president in the West Bengal state congress Committee. This time, Nepal is up against Ashutosh Mahato of AJSU and Sushanata Mahato of TMC.
Ashutosh Mahato of AJSU: The All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) is the sole alliance partner of the BJP in Bengal. The AJSU is contesting only one seat in the state and that seat is Baghmundi, where Ashutosh Mahato is trying his luck against four-time Congress MLA Nepal Mahata. AJSU is the only Jharkhand-based party which is contesting in Bengal. The JMM decided not to field its candidate after Mamata Banerjee sought Hemant Soren’s support by not fielding his candidates to prevent division of votes. It would be interesting to see whether Mahato can win this seat tribal-dominated for the AJSU.
Deblina Hembram from Ranibandh: Deblina Hembram was the Minister for Tribal Affairs from 2006 to 2011 during the Left government headed by then chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya. In the last assembly election held in 2016, Hembram was defeated by TMC’s Jyotsna Mandi by nearly 25,000 votes. However, in 2011, the Left leader had emerged victorious from the Randibandh assembly seat. A central committee member of CPIM, Hembram is pitted against Jyotsna Mandi again. Here, the BJP has fielded Khudiram Tudu to take on the Left leader.