Bengal Assembly elects five new RS members
Kolkata, Mar 28 (UNI) Four Left and on Trinamool candidates were elected to the Rajya Sabha from West Bengal today belying Congress hopes for a surprise win in the biennial elections.
The five candidates, elected to the Upper House were Mr Tapan Kumar Sen, Mr Mainul Hassan Ahamed, Mr Saman Pathak (all CPI-M), Dr Barun Mukherjee (Forward Bloc) and Mr Mukul Roy of the Trinamool Congress.
Aided by a minor cross voting from the Left, the Trinamool had a rousing victory having polled 56 votes, three more than its strength in the House, in favour of Mr Roy. Besides being backed by all of his party Legislators, the Trinamool candidate got the support of an expelled CPI(M) legislator and two dissident MLAs of the West Bengal Socialist Party (WBSP), a partner of the Left Front.
On the other hand, the Left Front had to depend on second preference votes to get Dr Mukhejee elected, who secured only 46 first preference ballots, two short of the required number.
Former city Mayor Subrata Mukherjee (Congress), who had banked heavily on cross voting in his favour, lost the battle by pocketing only 33 votes, including the ballots of four defectors from the Trinamool.
The Left Front nominees secured altogether 190 ballots out of the total 280 votes polled.
In the 294-member House, a total of 288 members were eligible for voting with six seats remaining vacant. While two SUCI members and one Congress Legislator were absent during polling, five votes, including those of three members of the CPI(M) and one each of the Forward Bloc and the Congress were cancelled.
The elections were held for the seats currently held by Mr Nilotpal Basu and Mr Dipankar Mukherjee of the CPI(M), Mr Manoj Bhattacharya of the RSP and Mr Jayanta Bhattacharya of the Congress, whose terms are set to expire.
The fifth seat fell vacant following the death of Mr Biplab Dasgupta of the CPI(M).
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