All five candidates for the Rajya Sabha from the state filed their nomination papers at the state Legislative Assembly on Monday.
Senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders Shantanu Sen, Subhasish Chakraborty, Abir Biswas and Nadimul Haque and CPM leader Rabin Deb filed their nomination papers with the returning officer at the Assembly. They were accompanied by leaders from their respective parties.
“Under the present circumstances, our aim would be to stop the march of BJP and other divisive forces in the country. We have to ensure that there is no division in the anti-BJP votes,” Singhvi said, after filing his nomination papers.
On March 23, five Rajya Sabha candidates will be elected from the state. Given its strength in the Assembly, the Trinamool will get to elect four candidates while the Opposition will get to field the fifth. Among the four candidates fielded by Trinamool Congress, only Nadimul Haque has been renominated.
The Congress, the second largest party, has a strength of 42 MLAs in the state Assembly and will be able to elect one Rajya Sabha MP on its own strength.
Instead of fielding a candidate of its own for the fifth seat, the TMC has extended its support to Congress candidate Singhvi.
Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee had announced last week that her party would support Singhvi for the fifth RS seat from the state.
In the morning, Singhvi had held a meeting with Congress MLAs and state party president Adhir Chowdhury in the Assembly. TMC general secretary Partha Chatterjee met Singhvi in the Assembly.
The CPM-led Left Front, which does not have the numbers in the state Assembly to win the RS poll, said they have fielded a candidate because they want to work for the people.
“It is not about my victory or loss. I appeal to all the MLAs to be guided by their conscience while voting,” LF candidate Rabin Deb said.
Left Front Chairman Biman Bose had stated last week that discussions were on between the Congress and the Left regarding nominating an independent candidate jointly.
“But all of a sudden, Congress high command had announced their candidate. In such a situation we were left with no choice other than nominating senior Left leader Rabin Deb in the fifth seat,” Bose had said. WITH PTI