Senior CPI-M leader and Siliguri MLA Asok Bhattacharya will contest the upcoming Assembly elections from the Siliguri Assembly Constituency. The party today declared the names of the candidates for the elections.

The 71-year-old veteran, who has already launched the election campaign on behalf of the Sanyukta Morcha (a joint alliance of the Left Front, Congress and Indian Secular Front), has been the face of the party in Siliguri.

A five-time MLA and former urban development minister, Bhattacharya is considered as the architect of the Left-Congress electoral combine that had shaped across the state during the last Assembly elections in 2016. The alliance had managed to hand down defeat to the Trinamul Congress in three consecutive elections between 2015 and 2016 in Siliguri.

Bhattacharya is also the former mayor of the Siliguri Municipal Corporation and present chairperson of the board of administrators at the corporation.

The Trinamul Congress has already declared Prof Om Prakash Mishra as the candidate for the Siliguri constituency.

Another senior party leader Dilip Singh will contest from the Dabgram-Fulbari constituency. Tourism minister Gautam Deb, the Trinamul Congress candidate from the segment, had defeated 52- year-old Singh in the previous two elections.

“The party has decided to field Asok Bhattacharya in Siliguri and Dilip Singh in Fulbari-Dabgram constituencies. The party will also announce the names of the candidates for the Hill seats soon,” Darjeeling district party secretary, Jibesh Sarkar, said.

The names of the Left candidates for the third to eighth phases of the elections have been declared at a time when the party expelled CPI-M leader from Siliguri Shankar Ghosh today.

In Malda, the CPI-M-Congress-ISF alliance declared the names of three candidates for three of the 12 assembly constituencies in the district today. While Koushik Mishra will contest the elections from English Bazaar, Arun Biswas has been selected for Gazole and Thakur Tudu from Habibpur.