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    Published On : Thu, Jul 27th, 2017

    Meira Kumar loses again, won’t be Cong’s Rajya Sabha candidate from Bengal

    Meira Kumar
    New Delhi:
    The Congress will be fielding senior party leader P Bhattacharya as the party’s candidate for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections instead of former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar.

    The West Bengal Congress leadership had urged the party high command to consider Kumar as a candidate for the RS elections in the state.

    Meira Kumar was the joint opposition candidate and ruling Trinamool Congress and the Left had supported her. Senior Congress leaders, WBPCC president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had met the party’s leadership in New Delhi to discuss the probable name of its lone candidate for the Rajya Sabha poll in West Bengal.

    Earlier, Congress had expressed keenness on extending support to CPI(M), provided it fielded its general secretary Sitaram Yechury. But the CPI(M) leadership itself is in a dilemma over Yechury as a third term MP.

    Polls will be held in six RS seats in the state in August. Out of the six, four are held by TMC, one by CPI(M) and one by Congress. However, TMC with its increased strength after the 2016 assembly polls is in a position to send five MPs to the Rajya Sabha. Congress, the second largest party, will be able to elect one MP on its own strength.

    With the present strength of the assembly and the number of Rajya Sabha seats going to polls, a candidate will need about 43 votes to get elected to the RS. The CPI(M)-led Left Front has 32 MLAs in the Assembly. The Congress has 44 MLAs and the ruling TMC has 211 members.

    Although five Congress MLAs and one Left MLA have switched over to TMC, they are yet to resign from their parent parties. Only Manas Bhunia, a Congress MLA, resigned today to contest the Rajya Sabha polls as a TMC candidate. He had earlier joined TMC in September last year.

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