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2-min read

6 Months to Go, Mamata Gears up for Another Round of Dissent as She Looks for 3 Rajya Sabha Nominees

The three nominated MPs who are set to retire on April 2, 2020, are painter and professor Jogen Chowdhury, journalist Ahmed Hassan Imran and businessmen-turned-politician KD Singh.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:October 29, 2019, 6:39 PM IST
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6 Months to Go, Mamata Gears up for Another Round of Dissent as She Looks for 3 Rajya Sabha Nominees
File photo of West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee.

Kolkata: In the midst of a growing rift among Trinamool Congress leaders in the block level, West Bengal Chief Minister and party supremo Mamata Banerjee is likely to face another internal challenge when she would have to nominate parliamentarians for the Rajya Sabha as the tenure of three party MPs will come to an end in another six months.

The three MPs set to retire on April 2, 2020, are painter and professor Jogen Chowdhury, journalist Ahmed Hassan Imran and businessmen-turned-politician KD Singh.

Though six months are left for the MPs to leave office, the TMC supremo has started working on a list of probable candidates to fill up the vacant seats, while keeping her close confidants in the loop to avoid any future confrontation within the TMC camp.

Ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, many of the party leaders had expressed their resentment when Banerjee announced the list of 42 candidates. She had dropped 10 sitting MPs to induct 18 new faces. At the time, senior party functionaries like Soumitra Khan, Anupam Hazra and Arjun Singh had openly rebelled and switched over to the BJP.

This came as a major setback for the ruling camp in the state as Khan and Singh managed to win the Bishnupur and Barrackpore Lok Sabha seats, respectively on a BJP ticket. Only Hazra, who was expelled from the party on January 9 for anti-party activities, had lost to TMC’s Mimi Chakraborty.

“We have seen that sitting MPs from Coochbehar, Bishnupur, Jhargram, Bolpur, Basirshat and Krishnanagar were dropped during the Lok Sabha polls and how it had affected out party’s tally. Therefore, this time our party supremo is very careful while selecting candidates for the Rajya Sabha seats. The whole strategy would be to not disappoint anyone,” a senior TMC leader said.

“Names will be finalised after consulting the senior leadership and before any announcement is made, the party supremo will hold meetings with all the districts party presidents to stop the BJP from instigating TMC leaders against the party. The BJP will try to divide our party functionaries during the Rajya Sabha nominations. However, this time, it will not succeed because, according to the recent trend, those who had joined the BJP (in the last one year) are coming back to the party fold. This is the reason why most of the municipalities taken over by the saffron party are now back in our control,” he added.

There are speculations that Omprakash Mishra or Mausam Benazir Noor, both of whom had switched over from the Congress to the TMC in recent times, may get nominated. A senior party leader who lost the Lok Sabha polls from North 24 Parganas and a senior journalist are also among the probable candidates in the Rajya Sabha race.

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| Edited by: Sohini Goswami
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