Kolkata: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in West Bengal on Monday decided not to contest the Rajya Sabha bypoll on October 4, a development that will pave the way for election of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) nominee unopposed.
Last week, the TMC had named Sushmita Dev, who recently joined the party after quitting the Congress, as its candidate for the bypoll.
The bypoll was necessitated after TMC leader Manas Bhunia vacated the Rajya Sabha seat following his victory in the assembly election from Sabang in West Midnapore district.
“BJP will not nominate any candidate for Rajya Sabha bypoll due in West Bengal. Outcome is predetermined. Our focus is to make sure unelected CM to be unelected once again. Jai Ma Kali,” Suvendu Adhikari, leader of opposition in West Bengal assembly, tweeted.
Adhikari, who defeated chief minister Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram during the April assembly elections, was referring to her contesting bypoll from Bhabanipur seat in Kolkata. Banerjee has to win the bypoll to become a member of the assembly in order to continue in the chair.
Reacting to the BJP’s decision, TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said: “At least 24 BJP legislators are opposing the leader of the opposition (in the state legislative assembly). The party would get less votes than what they have calculated. Many would not even go to vote and give multiple excuses. That’s why they are not naming any candidate for the Rajya Sabha bypoll. As days go by, the number of BJP legislators are going to drop and the number of TMC legislators are going to increase. Jai Ma Durga.”
Earlier too on August 9, the BJPs unit in the state had not fielded its nominee for by-election for a Rajya Sabha seat, paving the way for TMC nominee Jawhar Sircar to be elected unopposed.
The TMC controls 11 out of 16 Rajya Sabha seats, while the Congress has two and CPI(M) one.
Last week, TMC leader Arpita Ghosh had resigned from the Upper House on instructions of the party high command. The seat is now vacant