Hindustan Times (Delhi)

Didi to support Singhvi in RS polls

- HT Correspond­ent letters@hindustant­imes.com

KOLKATA: Sending a message to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee on Friday announced support for Congress candidate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who has been nominated for the Rajya Sabha from West Bengal.

Announcing the decision at the party’s core committee meeting in Kolkata on Friday, Banerjee said, “Trinamool will support Abhishek Manu Singhvi. He has fought for us in many legal battles.” Singhvi is a lawyer by profession.

There will be contest for five vacant seats for the Rajya Sabha from West Bengal this year. Victory of four candidates of the ruling Trinamool is assured.

However, neither the Congress nor the Left Front has the requisite strength in the Bengal assembly to get their candidates elected on their own strength.

The TMC has 213 MLAS in the Bengal assembly, which has 294 elected members. While the Congress has 32, the Left has 30. On Friday, the Left Front too announced CPI(M) state secretaria­t member Robin Deb as its candidate for the Rajya Sabha polls.

However, with Banerjee extending her support to Singhvi, the lawyer’s victory is confirmed as even after getting its four candidates elected, the Trinamool will have excess votes to spare for the Congress candidate.

Justifying Deb’s nomination, Left Front chairman Biman Bose issued a statement, saying they were surprised to hear that Congress had unanimousl­y decided to field its own candidate at a time when the two sides were in dialogue over nominating a candidate by consensus. “So we had no other option but to nominate Deb for the polls,” he said.

The four Trinamool candidates f or the RS polls are Nadimul Haque, Subhasish Chakrabart­y, Abir Biswas and Dr Santanu Sen.

Apart from Haque, who was nominated to the RS in 2012, all are new candidates. While Sen, 45, is a doctor, Chakravart­y and Biswas, 45, are lawyers.

The elections have become necessary since the terms of Kunal Ghosh, Bibek Gupta and Nadimul Haque of Trinamool Congress and CPI(M)’S Tapan Sen will end on April 2. Mukul Roy, who switched over to the BJP from the Trinamool Congress, resigned from the House last year.

 ??  ?? Mamata Banerjee
Mamata Banerjee

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