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West Bengal Congress proposes Meira Kumar as Rajya Sabha candidate

TMC and the Left had supported Meira Kumar as the joint opposition candidate for the presidential election.

india Updated: Jul 25, 2017 23:18 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Kolkata
West Bengal,Congress,Meira Kumar
New Delhi: UPA presidential candidate Meira Kumar arrives for the UPA meeting where she was welcomed, in New Delhi on Sunday. PTI Photo by Manvender Vashist (PTI7_16_2017_000250B)(PTI)

West Bengal Congress leadership has urged the party high command to consider former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar as a candidate for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections in the state.

“There are a lot of names that have been doing the rounds. But we have proposed the name of Meira Kumar to our party high command as she has been our candidate for the recent presidential elections and is acceptable to every body,” a Congress leader said here on condition of anonymity.

Meira Kumar was the joint opposition candidate and ruling Trinamool Congress and the Left had supported her.

Senior Congress leaders, WBPCC president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had met the party’s leadership in New Delhi to discuss the probable name of its lone candidate for the Rajya Sabha poll in West Bengal.

Earlier, Congress had expressed keenness on extending support to CPI(M), provided it fielded its general secretary Sitaram Yechury. But the CPI(M) leadership itself is in a dilemma over Yechury as a third term MP.

Polls will be held in six RS seats in the state in August. Out of the six, four are held by TMC, one by CPI(M) and one by Congress.

However, TMC with its increased strength after the 2016 assembly polls is in a position to send five MPs to the Rajya Sabha. Congress, the second largest party, will be able to elect one MP on its own strength.

With the present strength of the assembly and the number of Rajya Sabha seats going to polls, a candidate will need about 43 votes to get elected to the RS.

The CPI(M)-led Left Front has 32 MLAs in the Assembly. The Congress has 44 MLAs and the ruling TMC has 211 members. Although five Congress MLAs and one Left MLA have switched over to TMC, they are yet to resign from their parent parties.

Only Manas Bhunia, a Congress MLA, resigned today to contest the Rajya Sabha polls as a TMC candidate. He had earlier joined TMC in September last year.

First Published: Jul 25, 2017 23:18 IST