West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had reportedly told Congress high command that Trinamool Congress (TMC) will back the candidature of the political secretary of Sonia Gandhi, Ahmed Patel for Rajya Sabha from West Bengal. However, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi turned down the offer. This reportedly happened after BJP fielded party president Amit Shah, union minister Smriti Irani and Congress turncoat MLA Balwantsinh Rajput for Rajya Sabha, the election for which is scheduled to be held on August 8.
As per a report by Indian Express, a source close to the Banerjee said, “Mamata Banerjee had made it clear to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi that if he was nominated from Bengal, Ahmed Patel would have the full might of the Trinamool Congress behind him.” The report also suggests that Mamata’s offer came before the Congress’s current state of disorder in Gujarat, that has been created after Leader of Opposition in Assembly Shankersinh Vaghela quit the party. Six Congress MLAs had left the party last week, for which the Congress blamed ruling BJP. Following the incident, the Congress flew the remaining 44 MLAs to Karnataka.
Meanwhile, last week BJP parliamentary board announced that Amit Shah is all set to make his debut as a member of Parliament and he will contest the August 8 Rajya Sabha election from Gujarat. Shah is an MLA from Gujarat, where BJP has a government. Union minister Smriti Irani will also contest the Rajya Sabha poll from Gujarat.