The Election Commission of India on Monday deferred Rajya Sabha elections scheduled for June 8, news agency ANI reported. However, the new date for the elections has not by announced by EC yet. As per the earlier plan, 10 Rajya Sabha seats from the states of Goa, Gujarat and West Bengal were scheduled to go for polls in the month of June. The tenure of many prominent faces including Union minister Smriti Irani, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien, is coming to an end in July and August. Out of the ten members who are set to retire, four are from Trinamool Congress, three from Congress, two from BJP and one from the CPI (M).
The Upper House term of Shantaram Naik (Cong, Goa) will end on July 28, while the retirement of Ahmed Patel (Cong), Dilipbhai Pandya (BJP) and Smriti Irani (BJP) — all three from Gujarat — will end on August 18. Similarly, the tenure of members from West Bengal — Derek O’Brien (TMC), Debabrata Bandyopadhyay (TMC), Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M), Sukhenduhakhar Roy (TMC) and Dola Sen (TMC), Pradip Bhattacharya (Cong), are set to end on August 18.
CPI(M)’s Yechury has already denied that he will contest for a Rajya Sabha berth. “There is a norm in our party that any party member will not contest the Rajya Sabha election for three terms and I have to abide by the norm. I have said this earlier also,” he told reporters here. While on the other hand, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has announced the names of five TMC candidates elections. Banerjee has named — Derek ‘O Brien, Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, Dola Sen, Dr Manas Bhunia and Shanta Chhetri — and conveyed her best wishes to them.
“I have announced five names. One more has to be settled upon. We will announce that later,” she said. Of the five TMC nominees, three — Brien, Roy and Sen — have been re-nominated to the Upper House. However, Debabrata Bandopadhyay failed to secure his seat for a second stint. Bhunia will be the new face for Rajya Sabha seat, while Chhetri is an MLA of Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF).