Congress observer for West Bengal Shakeel Ahmed on Saturday called on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at Writers Buildings to seek Trinamool Congresss support to ensure at least one Rajya Sabha berth for his party from the state.
Bengal will send a total of five RS members after March 30 and as per first preference votes,the Trinamool is set to win three seats and the Left Front one. The Congress is falling short of five first preference votes to get the fifth berth. According to reports,Ahmed himself is in the race for a Rajya Sabha seat.
The Congress will also have to depend on the Trinamool to get its candidate for the Presidents election through. The Presidents election is scheduled for July.
These are two issues for which the Congress has to depend largely on the Trinamool Congress. We are partners of a coalition government and we have to play our role responsibly. Our president has told us to avoid all confrontation and work together with the Trinamool, Ahmed said.
Later,addressing a public meeting in East Midnapore,Ahmed scoffed at reports that the UPA government had become weak after the election in five states. He said the UPA had actually gained in strength with Mulayam Singh Yadavs victory in UP.
Ahmed kickstarted preparations for the panchayat polls in East Midnapore by addressing the meeting in the Assembly constituency of Manas Bhuniya,the Congress minister for irrigation and water resources in the Mamata Cabinet. The panchayat poll is crucial for any party fighting poverty,and the Congress has to gear up for it,he said.
With the CPM decimated,political circles are anticipating a Trinamool Congress-Congress fight in the panchayat polls and there is pressure from the Congress high command to prepare well in advance.
Another Bengal PCC team headed by MP Deepa Dasmunshi,Maya Ghosh and Debabrata Basu left for Purulia and held meetings to shortlist probable candidates for the panchayat elections.
Basu said that the list of names was being prepared to boost supporters. Its an initial attempt to sensitise the garssroots workers, he said.