The Congress in West Bengal is aspiring to become the main opposition party in the state legislative Assembly,but its MLAs are engages in a bitter race to upstage each other for the post,while some are eyeing berths in the Union ministry vacated by Trinamool Congress MPs and Pranab Mukherjee.
The competitors for the position of leader of opposition include Manas Bhunia,Rabi Chatterjee,Gyan Singh Sohan Pal and Mohammad Shorab.
The Congress Legislature Party (CLP) has already decided to stake its claim for the post and accordingly,the CLP has sent an official letter to AICC president Sonia Gandhi seeking her opinion on the issue. It has been learnt that the central leadership of the Congress will take a final decision about nominating the leader of opposition in the next couple of days.
The CLP has decided to approach Speaker Biman Bandyopadhya to stake the claim.
A senior Congress leader said,We have at least a half dozen senior Congress MLAs in the queue and all of them are vying to capture the position of leader of opposition. The CLP has already sought Soniajis permission on the issue. But the leader of the opposition would be selected by the MLAs through a voting process in the presence of senior AICC members.
However,he added that before taking a final call,the Congress leadership wants to consult constitutional and legal experts on whether it would be proper to become the principal Opposition after contesting the Assembly polls on a pre-poll alliance with the Trinamool. The Congress has 42 members in the Assembly,while the CPM strength stands at 39. Surjya Kanta Mishra of the CPM is the current leader of opposition.
AICC member and general secretary of PCC,Omprakash Mishra said,We will try to establish our claim as principal opposition in the Assembly. But we know that the TMC,as a part of its strategy,wants the Left Front to be the principal opposition. TMC has always been in favour of political polarization between the TMC and CPM. That way they to garb the anti-CPM votes.