The Trinamool Congress Saturday nominated Jawhar Sircar, the former Prasar Bharati CEO, as its candidate for the Rajya Sabha seat vacated by former member Dinesh Trivedi.
“We are delighted to nominate Mr.@jawharsircar in the Upper House of the Parliament. Mr. Sircar spent nearly 42 years in public service & was also the former CEO of Prasar Bharati. His invaluable contribution to public service shall help us serve our country even better!” TMC said in a statement on Twitter.
The Rajya Sabha by-poll was necessitated after Trivedi, a former TMC lawmaker, jumped ship to the Bharatiya Janata Party before the West Bengal Assembly elections this year.
Sircar is almost certain to be elected as a Rajya Sabha member in the August 9 by-poll — the TMC enjoys an iron-clad majority in the Assembly. The last date for submitting nominations is July 29.
Sircar also served as Secretary in the Ministry of Culture from late-2008 to February 2012. He reported directly to then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for much of his tenure. He quit as Prasar Bharati CEO in October 2016, four months ahead of his scheduled retirement in February 2017. In the run-up to the West Bengal Assembly elections, Sircar was a prominent voice against the BJP.
On Saturday, Sircar said after his nomination: “The intolerant, dictatorial Narendra Modi regime should be opposed and resisted at all levels. This nomination will give me a better opportunity to speak more forcefully against this BJP government.”
A senior TMC leader said Chief Minister Banerjee wanted to send a leader to Rajya Sabha who could operate from New Delhi. “Sircar has vast experience of work in the Central government, and as CEO of Prasar Bharati, he knows the media and the political scene in Delhi. That experience will also help the party. He is also a very good speaker,” said this leader.