Somnath to be Cong-Left backed candidate for RS?

Last Updated: Saturday, March 17, 2012 - 21:29

New Delhi/Kolkata: Even as the Dinesh
Trivedi controversy refuses to die down, a Rajya Sabha seat
could become another bone of contention between Congress and
Trinamool amid a buzz that Somnath Chatterjee could make it to
the Upper House with Congress and Left support.

While Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee has made
it clear that her party will not support Congress nominees in
the Rajya Sabha elections, a section in Congress is of the
firm view that the party should not leave its claim to the

"I am neither denying it nor confirming it. It`s not in
my was not discussed," AICC in-charge for West
Bengal Shakeel Ahmed told reporters when asked about reports
that the 82-year-old former Lok Sabha Speaker could become the
joint candidate of Congress and Left for the Rajya Sabha seat
in West Bengal.

In the 294-member Assembly, Trinamool Congress has 185
members, Left Front 60, Congress 42, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha
04, SUCI and independents 02. Of the independents, one has
already pledged support to Congress.

Of the five Rajya Sabha seats in the state, Trinamool
will clearly get three seats with first vote of 50 members
required for each seat. Left can get one. Trinamool will be
left 35 additional votes left after its three seats, while
Left will have 10 more.

Congress feels that it can win one seat as it already has
the support of 43 members.

There has been a buzz in media and political circles that
former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, as an independent
candidate, can make it to the Rajya Sabha if Congress and Left
decide to vote together.

When contacted by PTI, Chatterjee speaking from Kolkata
said, "This is all news to me. I have no information. I do not
know anything about it."


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First Published: Saturday, March 17, 2012 - 21:29

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