West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee hijacked a heavyweight Congress leader and party spokesperson Sukhendu Sekhar Roy to nominate him as the Trinamul Congress candidate for the Rajya Sabha election scheduled for July 22. The decision was taken in a meeting of the Trinamul Congress executive committee on Friday afternoon.
“The names of our four Rajya Sabha candidates are Derek O’ Brien, Debabrata Bandopadhyay, Srinjoy Bose and Sukhendu Sekhar Roy,” party general secretary and minister of state for Railways Mukul Roy said, adding that Mr Roy had written to Ms Banerjee seeking Trinamul Congress’ membership. The first three names were already known but the announcement of Mr Roy’s name came as a major surprise.
A party needs 42 MLAs to elect a member for the Upper House. The Trinamul Congress which has 184 MLAs in a 294-member House can comfortably send four candidates to the Rajya Sabha.
The Left Front with 61 and the Congress with 42 members can elect one Rajya Sabha MP each. Congress insiders said that Mr Roy had hoped that in recognition for his long service and loyalty to the party, he will get the nomination. The Congress has formally not announced the name of its candidate but state party president Pradip Bhattacharya on Friday picked up the nomination form from the Assembly making it evident that he had been selected by the high command. Asian Age