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After Congress fielded its sitting MP Pradeep Bhattacharya in Rajya Sabha polls from West Bengal, the Left Front on Friday fielded Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya as its candidate for the Upper House. An emergency meeting of the Left Front was held this morning where it was decided that the party would field its candidate for the sixth Rajya Sabha seat from West Bengal. Ruling Trinamool Congress has already fielded its candidates for five Rajya Sabha seats.
The TMC, however, had not fielded its candidate for the sixth seat and it was for the Opposition to field the sixth candidate. Incidentally, Friday is the last day to file nominations by candidates for Rajya Sabha election from West Bengal which will be held on August 8.
Left Front chairman Biman Bose said that they were forced to field a candidate as the Congress did not field an “independent candidate” in consultation with them. “Congress did not think about a common or a joint candidate by Opposition parties. That approach never came to us. Besides, we had no idea that Pradeep Bhattacharya was renominated by Congress. In such circumstances, we had no option but to field our own candidate. Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya will shortly go to West Bengal Legislative Assembly to file his nomination,” Bose said.
Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya is former Mayor of Kolkata and has been instrumental in Opposition’s fight against multiple chit fund scams in West Bengal. With Left Front fielding its candidate, a contest will be held between Pradeep Bhattacharya and Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya. Sources said that the TMC has already expressed its support to the Congress candidate.
The Congress was forced to field its candidate after the CPM Central Committee rejected the West Bengal unit’s proposal to send party General Secretary Sitaram Yechury to Rajya Sabha for the third time.