Kolkata, March 12 (IANS) Two of the four Trinamool Congress candidates Subrata Bakshi and Dinesh Trivedi filed their nominations on Wednesday for the Rajya Sabha polls in West Bengal, as the party kept open the option of putting up a fifth candidate, thereby throwing a challenge to proposed Left-Congress contestant Bikash Bhattacharya.
Accompanied by state ministers Aroop Biswas and Tapas Roy, Trinamool secretary general Bakshi and former union minister Dinesh Trivedi filed their papers to the state assembly secretariat.
Trinamool secretary general Partha Chatterjee said the other two party candidates theatre personality Arpita Ghosh and Mausam Benazir Noor will file their nominations on Thursday. However, he kept alive the suspension on a possible fifth candidate.
“I can’t say whether we will put up two or three candidates. I also can’t categorically say whether we will support an independent for the fifth seat. Can’t say anything now,” said Chatterjee.
CPI-M leader Bhattacharya is also scheduled to file his papers on Thursday.
Five RS seats in the state will fall vacant on April 2. Four of the retiring members are from Trinamool — K.D. Singh, Ahmed Hasan Imran, painter Jogen Chowdhury and Manish Gupta. The fifth is an expelled CPI-M member Ritabrata Banerjee.
As per the arithmetic in the state assembly, the four Trinamool candidates are likely to sail through.
If the Trinamool does not name a fifth candidate, all nominees including Bhattacharya will automatically make the cut for the upper house, without there being any need for an election.
In case the Trinamool names a fifth candidate, then also the Congress-Left have the numbers to ensure Bhattacharya’s win. However, the political observers are keeping their fingers crossed in such a scenario, considering Trinamool’s track record of poaching legislators from opposition camps during past elections.
The notification for the RS polls was issued on March 6, with March 13 being the last date for filing nominations.
The scrutiny will take place on March 14 and March 18 is the last date for withdrawal of candidature. The polls are scheduled for March 26. The votes will be counted on the same day.