Lucknow: The Trinamool Congress of Mamata Banerjee is planning to expand roots beyond its bastion West Bengal and mark a presence in the most populous state of Uttar Pradesh by fielding a candidate from Lucknow.
Confirming the party’s ambition, its Rajya Sabha MP Mukul Roy said, “One candidate, Rajesh Pandey, has been fielded by the party and he will be contesting from the Lucknow Lok Sabha seat.”
Speaking to PTI, Rajesh Pandey said, “I have been assigned to do the groundwork of establishing the party in Uttar Pradesh, which has a key role in national politics.”
Asked if the party will be able to drum up support from people in the form of a victory in UP, where it is practically a non-starter, Pandey said: “Undoubtedly this Lok Sabha polls are quite crucial to the party but our main target is the next Assembly elections, scheduled to be held in 2012.”
“This Lok Sabha elections will be a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threat) analysis for the Trinamool Congress and it will help us devise a strategy for the next Assembly polls,” said Pandey, who is also the editor of a local monthly magazine ‘Maasik´.
Even though the party is not very optimistic about a victory here, Pandey does have his poll agenda. “As far as this Lok Sabha election is concerned, my main aim is to address issues relating to youth, education and health care.”
He said everyone (from a santri to a mantri) should get good quality education irrespective of caste, creed, class or religion.
Apart from education, Pandey’s focus will also be on health care as he said, “My effort will be to make health care more accessible to all the sections of the society. Though there are good hospitals both in the city and the state, when it comes to the concept of good health care system, we are lagging.”