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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

2017 Rajya Sabha Elections - First Time in 60 Years, Bengal Won’t Have Left Candidate For Rajya Sabha Seat

The Election Commissionof India(ECI) on Monday July 31,2017 rejected senior CPI (M) leader Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya’s nomination for the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls. With this, in its over 60-year-old history, the Rajya Sabha will not have a single candidate from Bengal’s Left parties.

The ECI said they cancelled Bhattacharya’s nomination papers as they were incomplete and he submitted the documents after the deadline was over on July 28 at 3 PM. It also said that he didn’t submit the affidavit along with the nomination papers

The first left candidate to be part of the Rajya Sabha was Bhupesh Gupta of the undivided Communist Party in 1952.

Reacting to the incident, Left Legislature Party leader Sujan Chakraborty, who is also the Returning Officer for the Rajya Sabha elections, said, “Mention of an additional affidavit in the nomination forms was not clear to many. We were not aware of it.”

He said, “All forms were submitted in time but they said that we have submitted it after the deadline was over. This is wrong. This a TMC conspiracy against us and we will fight it legally.”

he Left fielded Bhattacharya for the Upper House after the Congress snubbed it and fielded sitting MP Pradeep Bhattacharya for the RS polls from West Bengal.

“We were forced to field our candidate because Congress – as discussed – did not field a candidate of common choice in consultation with us. They did not think about a common candidate by Opposition parties. They never approached us and we were clueless that Pradeep Bhattacharya was re-nominated by Congress,” said Left Front chairman Biman Bose.

July 28 was the last date of filing nomination. Assembly Secretary Jayanta Koley refused to accept the affidavit from Bhattacharya, as it was allegedly submitted after the deadline.

Subsequently, Sujan Chakraborty and senior CPI (M) leader Rabin Deb met Koley and after a long discussion the EC decided to reconsider the matter. Later, after going through his papers – the EC found that it was incomplete and rejected his nomination.

Earlier, the Congress was keen on supporting CPI (M) party general secretary Sitaram Yechury for a third term in the upper House. However, the left Politburo decided not to extend Yechury’s term. The leader too later clarified that he was not willing to seek an extension.


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