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Kolkata Municipal Corporation Elections 2010

Kolkata: Mayor Bikash Bhattacharya opted out of the fray as West Bengal’s ruling Left Front Saturday released its list of candidates for the May 30 Kolkata civic polls, at which it faces one of its toughest tests after a series of electoral reverses.

In an apparent bid to repair its battered image in the 141 Kolkata Municipal Corporation wards, the front has nominated 92 fresh candidates and 65 women, while announcing its candidates for 140 wards. The nominee for ward number 28 will be announced later.

"More than 47 percent of our candidates are women," announced Left Front chairman Biman Bose.

The front, which has been running the board for the last five years, received a setback of sorts with Bhattacharya declining to contest citing personal reasons.

Leaders of Left Front major Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), who had named him as mayor after the last election, made frantic efforts to persuade the lawyer-turned politician to change his mind realising that the opposition would make a big issue out of his absence. But Bhattacharya stood firm.

However, Bose put up a brave face on his absence. "Before the last elections, he was not even a councillor. After he became a councillor he was elected as mayor for a single term. And he has performed. We have decided not to renominate him as we want to utilise his expertise in legal matters".

Bose declined to name any mayoral candidate, saying the front partners would take a decision after the polls if the combine emerged victorious.

That, however, seems an uphill task considering that the opposition candidates had led in a brute majority of the wards in last year’s Lok Sabha polls.

Apart from the mayor, four mayor-in-council members have also not been renominated.

CPI-M candidates would try their luck in 96 wards, followed by Communist Party of India in 14, the Forward Bloc in 11 and the Revolutionary Socialist Party in 10. The minor front partners, including the Rashtirya Janata Dal and the Socialist Party (2 each) would fight in the remaining seats. (IANS)

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