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No row with Congress on RS poll: Mamata

Staff Reporter
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Trinamool Congress candidates file papers for all four seats in West Bengal

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with (from left) Mukul Roy, Kunal Ghosh and Md Nadimul Haque, the Trinamool candidates who filed their nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha elections, in Kolkata on Saturday.— PHOTO: Sushanta Patronobish
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with (from left) Mukul Roy, Kunal Ghosh and Md Nadimul Haque, the Trinamool candidates who filed their nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha elections, in Kolkata on Saturday.— PHOTO: Sushanta Patronobish

Four candidates of the Trinamool Congress filed nominations here on Saturday for the Rajya Sabha elections, with the party chairperson Mamata Banerjee ruling out any differences with the Congress on the issue.

“This is mutual understanding,” she said on the issue of her party not backing the Congress claim for one of the four seats.

When it was pointed out that Congress has also sought nominations to contest the elections, she said: “It is a prerogative of any political party to contest elections. They can always contest.”

“There is no scope for any controversy or any disagreement on this. It is a policy decision. Since we had supported their candidature in the earlier elections, this time we have given our candidates,” she told journalists in the West Bengal Assembly complex.

Earlier in the day Subhra Ghosh, a State Congress leader, sought nomination for contesting the elections.

The unilateral decision of the Trinamool to nominate four candidates to contest the Rajya Sabha elections (of whom three persons are outside the political arena) has evoked strong reaction from Congress leaders.

A senior State leader has also written to party president Sonia Gandhi urging that the Congress contest the elections.

Ms. Banerjee, however, said the candidates nominated by her party would play a positive role in Indian polity and raise the issues of people.

Among those who filed the nominations on TMC ticket are the party's all-India general secretary and Union Minister for State for Shipping Mukul Roy, and three journalists — Kunal Ghosh, proprietor of a Urdu daily Md Nadimul Haque and Vivek Gupta, who is with another Hindi daily.

She said the representatives nominated from different sections of the media understand the “pulse of the people” and could work for improving the State's human development parameters.

The West Bengal Assembly has 294 seats and a candidate needs support of at least 49 legislators to be elected to the Rajya Sabha.

While the Left Front, with 61 members can win one seat, the Trinamool Congress with 185 seats, is in a comfortable position to send three members to the Rajya Sabha. The Congress has 42 members.

The Trinamool will require the support of MLAs from other parties to get them through. The Left has put up CITU leader Tapan Sen.


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