The ruling party in West Bengal, Trinamool Congress has announced the names of six candidates for the forthcoming Rajya Sabha elections. The candidates include Derek O'Brien, Dola Sen, Sukhendu Sekhar Ray, Samirul Islam, Prakash Chik Baraik and Saket Gokhale.
The Election Commission of India has announced that elections for 10 Rajya Sabha seats in Goa, Gujarat, and West Bengal will be held on July 24.
Derek O'Brien, Dola Sen, Sukhendu Sekhar Ray, Sushmita Dev and Shanta Chhetri will no longer represent West Bengal.
Sushmita Dev, a former Congress leader and Shanta Chetri are the two current Members of Parliament who have been left out for now.
The Trinamool Congress on their Twitter handle, announced the name of the candidates, it said, "We take great pleasure in announcing the candidatures of Derek O'Brien, Dola Sen, Sukhendu Sekhar, Samirul Islam, Prakash Chik Baraik and Saket Gokhale for the forthcoming Rajya Sabha elections."
We take great pleasure in announcing the candidatures of @derekobrienmp , @Dolasen7 , @Sukhendusekhar, @Samirul65556476 , @ChikPrakash , and @SaketGokhale for the forthcoming Rajya Sabha elections. May they persist in their dedication to serving the people and uphold Trinamool's…— All India Trinamool Congress (@AITCofficial) July 10, 2023
It also said, "May they persist in their dedication to serving the people and uphold Trinamool's enduring legacy of indomitable spirit and advocacy for the RIGHTS OF EVERY INDIAN. We extend our heartfelt wishes to all," the party tweeted from its official handle on Monday morning."
Thanking the TMC leadership for nominating him, Gokhale tweeted, "I’m overwhelmed by their faith in me & for giving this opportunity to a young middle-class boy who comes from a non-political background."
"They’ve been the source of my strength, my inspiration for public service, & rock solid pillars who stood by me & my family in the toughest times. I promise to give my all & everything to be an effective public representative & lawmaker & to stand up steadfastly for our democracy & Constitution," he added.
The TMC has 216 MLAs in the 294-member assembly and enjoys the support of five BJP MLAs, who switched over to the ruling party but are yet to resign from the House. The BJP has a strength of 70 in the assembly.
According to practice, the counting of votes will take place at 5 pm on July 24 itself, an hour after the conclusion of the poll process.
West Bengal violence
In the recent panchayat polls in West Bengal, several party workers from across the political parties in the state lost their lives following clashes. A war of words continued between the ruling party and the opposition parties regarding the responsibility for the violence. Opposition party leader Suvendu Adhikari blamed Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for the situation while Banerjee claimed that most of the people who died were her party workers. A re-polling is taking place on July 10 for the areas where the polling process was disturbed on July 8.