Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chairperson Mamata Banerjee on Sunday announced five names for nomination to Rajya Sabha.
Rajya Sabha MP and party national spokesperson Derek O’ Brien, MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy and MP Dola Sen have been re-nominated to the Upper House. The two other nominations are former Congress leader Manas Ranjan Bhuniya, who recently joined the TMC and Santa Chettri, a former MLA from Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) from the hills who joined the TMC. The nomination of Dr. Bhunia and Ms. Chettri is being considered as a fine balancing act by Ms. Banerjee in the political circles.
On the one hand it is a message to the people in Darjeeling that the TMC is nominating a representative from the hills. On the other, it gives a clear indication that those joining TMC from other parties will be rewarded as per their merit.
Debabrata Bandhopadhyay, a retired IAS officer who was nominated by the party in 2011 to the Rajya Sabha, has not been considered while Srinjoy Bose, another member nominated by the TMC in 2011 has left the party.
Elections to six seats from West Bengal will be held in August. The TMC which won 211 seats in the 2016 Assembly polls, can nominate five members. The Congress and Left Parties can send one member to the Upper House if they join hands. In 2011, the Left parties had nominated CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and Congress’s Pradip Bhattacharya and their terms will expire in August 2017.
The name of the sixth candidate is a matter of much speculation after Mr. Yechury had decided not to seek nomination to the Upper House.