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West Bengal BJP not to field candidate for Rajya Sabha bypoll

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Google Oneindia News

Kolkata, July 29: The BJP on Thursday announced it will not field any candidate for the bypoll to one Rajya Sabha seat from West Bengal, paving the way for the ruling TMC nominee Jawhar Sircar to be elected unopposed.

Rajya Sabha

Suvendu Adhikari, the opposition leader in the West Bengal assembly, said the saffron party will not nominate any candidate for the Rajya Sabha seat vacated by former TMC leader Dinesh Trivedi earlier this year.

"Today is the last date for nomination of RS bypoll in WB. BJP is not putting up any candidate for this seat. Outcome of the poll is defined and known to all... Our fight against this irrational Govt (government) will continue," Adhikari, the BJP MLA from Nandigram, said on Twitter.

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Sircar, the former Prasar Bharati CEO, had on Wednesday filed his nomination as TMC candidate in the office of the assembly secretariat. West Bengal Parliamentary minister and TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee was present at the occasion.

"Sircar spent nearly 42 years in public service...his contribution shall help us serve our country even better," the TMC had on July 24 said while announcing his candidature.

The Election Commission had said the bypoll to the Rajya Sabha seat from West Bengal vacated by Trivedi earlier this year will be held on August 9. Trivedi had resigned from the upper house of Parliament in February and joined the BJP ahead of the last assembly polls.

In the 294-member assembly, the Trinamool Congress has 213 MLAs and the BJP 77. The TMC's ally GJM has one. The CPI(M)-led Left Front and the Congress failed to open an account in the last assembly election, and their alliance partner Indian Secular Front (ISF) won only one seat.

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Meanwhile, a Trinamool Congress parliamentary party delegation, comprising six MPs, had on July 15 met the Election Commission in New Delhi, demanding that bypolls to seven vacant West Bengal assembly seats be held at the earliest.

The TMC is keen on the byelections as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who lost the assembly poll from Nandigram, will have to get elected in the next six months to continue as the CM.

State minister Sovandeb Chattopadhyay had vacated Bhabanipur seat to facilitate Banerjee's election from there. Dinhata and Santipur assembly seats fell vacant after BJP leaders Nisith Pramanik and Jagannath Sarkar resigned as MLAs to retain their the Lok Sabha membership.

Polling could not be held in Samserganj and Jangipur in Murshidabad district due to the death of candidates. Byelections to Khardah and Gosaba seats in North and South 24 Parganas respectively are to be held after the death of TMC's Kajal Sinha and Jayanta Naskar due to COVID-19.

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