Marcus Dam

KOLKATA: The ruling Left Front finalised here on Thursday its nominees for four of the five Rajya Sabha seats elections for which will be held on March 26. It will support an Independent candidate, whose name is to be announced shortly for the remaining seat.

Shyamal Chakravarty, president of the West Bengal unit of the Centre for Trade Unions and a member of the central committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) is one of the three candidates to be put up by the CPI(M).

“I have been and will continue to work for the interests of the working classes,” Mr. Chakravarty said when asked to comment on his candidature.

Debabrata Biswas, general secretary of the All India Forward Bloc (AIFB), will be the nominee for the fourth.

In order to accommodate a representative of the Communist Party of India it has been decided that Dr. Barun Mukherjee of the AIFB who is a sitting Rajya Sabha member will resign.

Stating this at the conclusion of a meeting of leaders of the Left Front constituents, Biman Bose, chairman of the Left Front committee, said that the CPI(M) had re-nominated Tarani Roy and Prasanta Chatterjee as its two other candidates for the coming elections.

Bilateral talks

The day’s meeting had been preceded by bilateral discussions over the past few days between leaders of the CPI(M) — the biggest party in the Left Front — and those of the AIFB and the CPI, both of whom have been staking their claim for one of the seats for which polls are to be held.

“It is not a question of victory or defeat [for our party]. It is a victory of the Left Front,” the State secretary of the AIFB, Ashok Ghosh, said when asked about the decision of letting go a Rajya Sabha seat that it had held in favour of the CPI.

“A move for Left unity”

The decision has been taken “in the interests of Left unity,” senior CPI leader Nandagopal Bhattacharjee said.

Given the strength of the Left Front in the State Assembly all four of its candidates are set to being elected to the Rajya Sabha.

That is not so, however, for the Trinamool Congress which will need the support of others to ensure the re-election of its candidate, Dinesh Trivedi, whom it has nominated for the fifth seat. Mr. Trivedi filed his nomination papers during the day.

“We hope those who talk of ousting the CPI(M) from the State will support Mr. Trivedi,” Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly and senior Trinamool Congress leader, Partha Chatterjee said, in a tacit reference to the Congress.