RS polls: Opposition parties accuse TMC of poaching MLAs
Kolkata: Ahead of election to five Rajya Sabha seats in West Bengal on Friday, the Opposition on Thursday accused the ruling Trinamool Congress of trying to poach their MLAs in a desperate measure to win the fifth seat after a Congress member said he would join the TMC and vote for it.
CPI(M) politburo member and Leader of the Opposition Surya Kanta Mishra said that three Left MLAs Sunil Mondal of Forward Bloc, Dasarath Tirkey and Atanu Deb Adhikari of RSP could not be contacted.
"We have been trying to get in touch with them, but have failed to establish any contact," Mishra said.
CPI(M) leader Rabin Deb accused the TMC of trying to make LF MLAs to vote for its candidates in tomorrow`s elections with the help of the police administration.
Denying the allegation, TMC all India General Secretary Mukul Roy said that some MLAs from the opposition wanted to support the TMC "to defeat the unholy nexus of Congress and CPI(M). We are confident that we will win the four seats where we have put up candidates."
Meanwhile, TMC received a boost with Congress MLA Abu Naser Khan Chowdhury from Malda saying that he would join the ruling party tomorrow and vote for the party candidate.
TMC with 187 seats in the 294-member House could ensure
victory of three candidates, filmstar Mithun Chakraborty, painter Jogen Chowdhury and K D Singh. It has put up Ahmed Hasan for the fourth seat.
In the 294-member assembly, a candidate required 49 votes to win a seat in the upper house.
TMC sources claimed that Congress member Sushil Roy would also vote for its candidate tomorrow.
The TMC would face contest for the fifth seat where Congress-backed Independent A S Malihabadi is seeking election and is likely to get support from the Left.
Left Front with 61 votes could ensure win of one candidate. It has fielded SFI all India general secretary Ritabrata Banerjee.
The Left Front having 12 surplus votes expressed support to Malihabadi.
Congress has 38 seats and has lent support to Maliahabadi.
MLA from Malda, Abu Naser Khan Chowdhury told reporters in the presence of TMC all-India general secretary Mukul Roy and Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee, "I will join Trinamool Congress tomorrow when the official announcement will be made and I will also vote for TMC candidates."
Notwithstanding Khan Chowdhury`s statement of support for the TMC candidate, the Congress said that all its 38 MLAs were still with the party and would vote in favour of independent candidate AS Malihabadi.
"We have already spoken to Khan Chowdhury and Sushil Roy and they said that they are with the party," CLP leader Md Sohrab said.