KOLKATA: The ruling TMC has decided not to field candidates who are over 80 in the upcoming Assembly elections.
"We have decided not to give tickets to octogenarian candidates considering their health ground," said Subrata Mukherjee, a minister in Mamata Banerjee’s cabinet.
Presently, the ruling party has three MLAs who are above 80.
The TMC sources said the list of candidates, who will take on BJP, will offer surprises by inducting new, young apolitical, and celebrity faces.
"In some pockets, we will field faces popular in those areas. For example, we might field a doctor or retired police officers known for their clean image. Besides, popular faces in serials and Bengali silver screen will be given tickets," said a TMC leader.
The TMC recently inducted youngsters, retired police officers, doctors, and actors. "It is because the party wants to blunt the BJP’s allegation of corruption by our elected representatives. The actor-MLAs who have lost popularity among the masses will also be ignored," said the leader.
Sources in the TMC said the decision of hunting for clean faces was necessitated by the unimpressive result of the party in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. "We received the jolt only because of the alleged corruption by our party satraps and the BJP encashed on it. This time, we will not give them a room to attack us on the same issue," said another TMC leader.
Elaborating on why the party is hunting for faces with clean images, the leader said the BJP is sharpening the attack on corruption, mainly on cyclone Amphan relief issues. "They are not citing Narada sting operations where our leaders were seen accepting money. It is because one of them joined the BJP. We are going to field such faces which will give BJP no option to attack corruption issue at constituency level," he added.