Politics

West Bengal RS polls race heats up

22 May 2017 | By Gaurav Jeyaraman
The West Bengal Rajya Sabha polls

The race for the ensuing Rajya Sabha elections in West Bengal is heating up, after CM Mamata Banerjee took to Facebook to announce the candidates from the Trinamool Congress.

She expressed confidence that she would win at least 5 of the 6 seats up for grabs.

Banerjee's nominations and fervour for the elections are being seen as a political investment for later.

In context: The West Bengal Rajya Sabha polls

22 May 2017West Bengal RS polls race heats up

TMCWho are Mamata's candidates?

Mamata Banerjee first announced the five nominations from TMC on Facebook.

Of these, Derek 'O Brien, Sukhendu Sekhar Roy and Dola Sen are being re-nominated for the post.

She has nominated Dr Manas Bhunia as a reward for defecting from the Congress to the TMC.

Shanta Chhetri, a former Gorkha National Liberation Front MLA has been fielded to improve TMC representation in the hills.

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What about the Congress and the Left?

Congress, LeftWhat about the Congress and the Left?

It is still unclear who the Congress and the Left would field for the 6th seat, which is currently held by CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury.

While a pact has not been ruled out completely, Yechury has turned down the offer to be a common candidate for the seat.

Sources said Sharmishta Mukherjee, daughter of President Pranab Mukherjee may be fielded by the Congress.

Do Congress and Left need to align?

To win a Rajya Sabha seat in West Bengal, 49 votes are required. However, neither the Congress nor the Left have the numbers. Hence analysts speculate that without an alliance, they may lose the seat.