With the Election Commission rejecting nomination of the lone Left Front nominee Bikash Bhattacharya for the sixth RS seat from Bengal, the Left block is left with no candidates from the state for the first time in six decades
The Election Commission, on Monday, during scrutiny of the RS papers rejected Bhattacharya's candidature for the sixth RS seat from Bengal due to technical reasons. Five TMC candidates and a Congress candidate were elected to the Rajya Sabha unopposed.
The five TMC candidates elected to the Rajya Sabha are Manas Bhunia, TMC's chief national spokesperson Derek O'Brien, Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, Dola Sen and Santa Chetri. Congress candidate Pradip Bhattacharya was also elected to the Upper House.
The commission struck down his candidature, after giving a hearing to the Left candidate, on the ground that he didn’t file the required affidavits within the stipulated time.
A report from the returning officer to the EC stated that Bhattacharya filed the additional affidavit two minutes beyond the 3-pm deadline despite sitting in front of the returning officer from much before.
The cancellation of Bhattacharya's nomination has kicked off a political debate between the TMC and CPI(M), with the latter alleging that it was the "handiwork" of the ruling party in the state. CPI-M leader Sujan Chakrabarty called it “a conspiracy” against the Left.
“We feel TMC was rattled by his nomination and that is why a conspiracy was hatched to reject his nomination. We will seek legal advice on it,” CPI-M leader Sujan Chakraborty said.
The Trinamool Congress on Monday said that Bhattacharya's Rajya Sabha nomination was rejected in accordance with existing laws and the party has nothing to do with it. “How is Trinamool Congress involved in this?” he asked.
“They were given a chance of hearing in accordance with the Representation of the People's Act. The returning officer was also present during the hearing and discussed the matter with everyone. Then it was announced that CPI-M's Rajya Sabha candidate's nomination was declared as invalid by the Election Commission as it was not submitted within the stipulated time,” Trinamool Secretary General Partha Chatterjee clarified.