Darjeeling: Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday announced that Amar Singh Rai, the current MLA from Darjeeling, is going to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha election as its candidate from the constituency.
Informing the press, the West Bengal CM said, “Trinamool Congress will contest the general election from Darjeeling. Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) MLA Amar Singh Rai will resign from the Assembly and contest the Lok Sabha polls on a TMC ticket.”
Answering a follow-up question, Banerjee said, “Our cadres will work together right from booth level to the top. He will contest on our symbol, I am very happy. He is a Bhoomiputra.”
Rai was once a Bimal Gurung loyalist but changed sides to join the Binay Tamang group, after the former GJM leader went underground. He is seen as one of those who made Binay Tamang’s ascension possible.
Banerjee has announced that besides West Bengal’s 42 Lok Sabha seats, TMC will fight the polls from five parliamentary seats in Jharkhand, six in Assam, two in Bihar and the lone seat in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The party will also fight for 10 Assembly seats in Odisha.
The party will not contest in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab, but will support regional parties, Banerjee said.
The Binay Tamang faction of GJM had already extended support to Banerjee and the Mahagathbandhan.