The ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal on Sunday (March 8) nominated two women members — Arpita Ghosh and Mausam Noor — as the party’s candidates for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections. Besides, the party also nominated two men candidates for the elections — Dinesh Trivedi and Subrata Bakshi.
The announcement was made by TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. In a tweet, Banerjee said in keeping with her “constant endeavour” towards women’s empowerment, she was proud that half of the TMC nominees for the March 26 polls were women.
While Noor lost from the Malda Uttar seat in last year’ s Lok Sabha elections, Ghosh had unsuccessfully contested from Balurghat and Dinesh Trivedi from Barrackpore constituency. Bakshi did not contest from Kolkata Dakshin, the seat he had won in the 2014 elections.
TMC sources said Banerjee’s decision to nominate two women for the Rajya Sabha polls was part of her objective to bring more women in parliamentary politics and delegate responsibility.
Rajya Sabha polls to the five seats of West Bengal will be held on March 26. The election for the fifth seat will be a litmus test for the CPI(M)-Congress tie-up in the state.
According to the distribution of seats in the West Bengal Assembly, the ruling TMC will get four seats to the Upper House of Parliament, whereas a joint candidate of either the CPI(M)-Congress or the TMC-Congress will have to win the fifth one.
The Congress had earlier taken the TMC’s support for the elections of their candidates Pradip Bhattacharya and Abhishek Manu Singhvi to the Rajya Sabha. Since the Lok Sabha poll debacle, the CPI(M) and Congress have been unitedly fighting against the TMC and the BJP in the state.
The fifth seat was held by Ritabrata Bandopadhyay, who was elected as a CPI(M) nominee in 2014, but was expelled from the party in 2017.
Since his expulsion and post-2019 Lok Sabha polls, the CPI(M)’s West Bengal unit does not have any representation either in the Lok Sabha or in the Rajya Sabha. This has happened for the first time since the party’s inception in 1964.
With just eight MLAs, the BJP is not a contender in the Rajya Sabha polls.
(With inputs from agencies)