Special Correspondent

KOLKATA: All four nominees of the West Bengal ruling Left Front and an Independent came up trumps in the biennial elections for five Rajya Sabha seats from the State on Wednesday.

Among the Left Front nominees three are from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and one is from the All India Forward Bloc (AIFB).

With the defeat of the Trinamool Congress nominee at the hands of the Independent Ahmad Saeed Malihabadi, the strength of the principal Opposition has been reduced to two in the Rajya Sabha. The Independent was supported by both the Left Front and the Congress.

The victorious CPI(M)’s nominees are Shyamal Chakravarty, president of the State unit of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions and member of the party’s central committee, Tarini Kanta Roy and Prasanta Chatterjee. Both Mr. Roy and Mr. Chatterjee were re-nominated. AIFB general secretary Debabrata Biswas was re-elected.

The triumph of Mr. Malihabadi, editor of a local Urdu daily, was significant as the seat he won with the backing of the Left Front and the Congress — otherwise political rivals — was the only one contested.