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Presidential polls: Lone CPM MP ‘unhappy’ with Oppn choice of Sinha

Rajya Sabha MP Bikash Bhattacharya, the lone voter of the CPM from West Bengal in the presidential election, has expressed his unhappiness over the “selection”. The party is yet to react on the issue. The party feels that it has “no, votes, thus no say” in the matter, sources said.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
June 23, 2022 3:28:58 am
Yashwant Sinha

A day after Yashwant Sinha was announced as the Opposition’s candidate in the coming presidential elections, some in the Bengal unit of the CPI(M) have expressed “unhappiness” over the choice of candidate.

Rajya Sabha MP Bikash Bhattacharya, the lone voter of the CPM from West Bengal in the presidential election, has expressed his unhappiness over the “selection”. The party is yet to react on the issue. The party feels that it has “no, votes, thus no say” in the matter, sources said.

Bikash Bhattacharya, a well-known lawyer in the Calcutta High Court and a former mayor of Kolkata, was elected as Rajya Sabha MP from the previous legislative Assembly where the CPM and the Congress had more than 70 MLAs. He was elected with the support of Congress MLAs.

After the name of Yashwant Sinha — a former Union finance minister and ex-BJP leader who recently became a prominent national face of the TMC — was announced on Tuesday, Bikash Bhattacharya said, “The party [CPM] had to take a stand on the question of unity of opposition at the national level. But the selection of candidate was not right.”
However, sources in the Bengal CPM said some in the party had reservations about Sinha as presidential candidate.

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However, for the sake of “secular unity” and also “party discipline”, they remained silent on the issue.

A Central Committee member of the CPM said, “In the presidential election, everything depends on how many votes you
have. Once upon a time, we had plenty of votes. So, we were in a position to dictate. But now we don’t have any MLA in West Bengal and only one MP. We have some votes in Kerala but they have no problem with Yashwant Sinha.”
Another veteran CPM leader said, “Yashwant Sinha is seen as the candidate of [TMC chairperson] Mamata Banerjee and he is also a former BJP leader.”

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