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"Grateful to Mamata Banerjee for trusting me with responsibility to become people's voice in Parliament": Yusuf Pathan

New Delhi: Former cricketer Yusuf Pathan extended gratitude to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee after Trinamool Congress announced his candidature from the Berhampore Lok Sabha seat for the upcoming polls.

Yusuf Pathan said that it is the duty of the representatives of the people to uplift the deprived sections of society.

"I'm eternally grateful to Mamata Banerjee for welcoming me into the TMC family and trusting me with the responsibility to become people's voice in the Parliament. As representatives of the people, it is our duty to uplift the poor and deprived, and that is what I hope to achieve," Yusuf Pathan posted on X.

Reacting to the announcement of the candidates, West Bengal BJP president Sukanta Majumdar questioned the TMC's decision to field Yusuf Pathan and Kirti Azad.

"Just half an hour before the TMC's list was announced, Abhishek Banerjee was making statements like BJP is anti-Bengal. Now, when the candidates are announced, it's clear that TMC is bringing people from outside. I don't know if Kirti Azad and Yusuf Pathan are Bengali, Yusuf Pathan is from Gujarat, and so is PM Modi, but for them, PM Modi is an outsider," he said.

Currently, the Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury represents Berhampore constituency in the Lower House.

Earlier, TMC announced its candidates at the Brigade Parade ground on Sunday. The party has fielded candidates on all 42 Lok Sabha seats.

Abhishek Banerjee, the nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will contest from Diamond Harbour. Mahua Moitra, who was expelled from Lok Sabha in the Winter session last year has been given a ticket from Krishnanagar constituency.

Meanwhile, Mukut Mani Adhikari who recently quit the Bharatiya Janata Party has also been given a ticket from Ranaghat Lok Sabha seat.
Shatrughan Sinha is set to again contest from the Asansol Lok Sabha seat, a seat he had won earlier in the 2022 bypoll.

On the announcement of the candidates, Trinamool Congress said that the ruling party in Bengal will stand with the common people as part of its committment.

"Under the leadership of Chairperson Mamata Banerjee, we're pleased to announce the names of candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. We are steadfast in our commitment to stand by the common people against the deprivation of the Central Govt. When it comes to confronting the BJP jomidars head-on and responding in the language they understand best, the Twin Flower is people's only choice!," TMC posted on X.

Meanwhile, Congress General Secretary (Communications), Jairam Ramesh expressed his dissatisfaction and said that a "unilateral announcement" should not have been made by the TMC.

"The Indian National Congress has always maintained that it wants a respectable seat-sharing formula with the TMC in West Bengal. It means mutual negotiations, give and take, some compromise. We have always said that our doors are open for negotiations and seat-sharing talks but there should be no unilateral announcement of the seats, we should do it collectively together as we have done in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Delhi, UP, and so on," Jairam Ramesh said.

"The TMC has announced, I don't know what pressure was there on the TMC but as far as we are concerned we want to strengthen the INDIA alliance in West Bengal. So let's see what happens," he added.

In the previous Lok Sabha polls, the TMC won 22 seats while the BJP sprung a major surprise, winning 18 seats.

The Congress won the remaining two seats.In 2019, the BJP-led National Democratic (NDA) won a total of 303 seats, leaving the grand-old party behind at 52 seats.

The Lok Sabha polls are expected to be held in April-May this year.

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