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Cricketer Yusuf Pathan, actress Rachana Banerjee to make political debut in LS polls from Bengal

Kolkata, March 10 (PTI) The Trinamool Congress (TMC), which unveiled its candidate lineup for all 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal, has introduced six political newcomers, among them former cricketer Yusuf Pathan and Padma Shri recipient Kalipada Soren.

Kolkata, March 10 (PTI) The Trinamool Congress (TMC), which unveiled its candidate lineup for all 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal, has introduced six political newcomers, among them former cricketer Yusuf Pathan and Padma Shri recipient Kalipada Soren.

The other fresh faces are actor Rachana Banerjee, psychiatrist Sharmila Sarkar, Oxford University's PhD scholar Shahnawaz Ali Raihan, and former IPS officer Prasun Banerjee.

Yusuf Pathan, renowned for his cricket career, notably representing India in the 2011 World Cup-winning team, officially retired from all forms of cricket in February 2021.

Fielded from Baharampur, a Congress stronghold, he stands out as a political newcomer and a non-resident of Bengal.

Pathan, born in Baroda in Gujarat, is likely to be up against five-term MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who doubles up as the Bengal Pradesh Congress president.

Kalipada Soren, honoured with the Padma Shri for his contributions to literature and education, particularly in promoting Santhali culture, emerges as a political novice at 64. He is a celebrated playwright and author, recognised with the Sahitya Academy Award twice.

Actress Rachana Banerjee ventures into politics, contesting against BJP's sitting MP Locket Chatterjee from Hooghly Lok Sabha seat, where Singur, known for anti-land acquisition protests against the erstwhile Left regime, is situated.

Renowned psychiatrist Sharmila Sarkar makes her political debut as the TMC's candidate for Bardhaman Purba Lok Sabha seat, replacing incumbent MP Sunil Mondal, who briefly joined the BJP before returning to the TMC fold after the 2021 assembly polls.

Shahnawaz Ali Raihan, a PhD scholar at Oxford University, and TMC's candidate from Malda South seat, has been actively engaging in academic and public discourse on various political issues in the country, including government policies related to migration and other matters affecting the populace.

Former IPS officer Prasun Banerjee, who recently resigned, has been chosen as the TMC's candidate for the Malda North seat, currently held by the BJP.

Banerjee, who previously served as DIG of the Malda range and superintendent in various districts of North Bengal, has also ventured into acting in Bengali television dramas for a brief period. PTI PNT MNB

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