Jaya Bachchan's third term in the Rajya Sabha draws to a close on April 3 and Trinamool sources confirm that she is among the top contenders for the nomination to the Upper House from West Bengal. Mamata Banerjee is yet to take a final call on the matter.
Ahead of the rejig of the Rajya Sabha which will see 58 Members of Parliament retire in little over a month from now, reports suggest that Samajwadi Party leader Jaya Bachchan is the frontrunner for being nominated by the Trinamool Congress to the Upper House from West Bengal. Actor-turned-politician Jaya Bachchan’s third term in the Rajya Sabha draws to a close on April 3 and party sources have confirmed that she is among the top contenders for the nomination, reported The Indian Express. According to a TMC leader quoted by the paper, a formal announcement in this regard is expected to be made on March 18 after TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee takes a final decision.
The retirement of 58 MPs from the Rajya Sabha will result in four seats of the TMC being vacated in the Upper House. Bachchan’s Samajwadi Party, which was dethroned from power by the Bharatiya Janata Party in Assembly elections last year, only has the numbers for a solitary seat in the House.
Trinamool leaders cited in the report point to Bachchan’s Bengali roots and her popularity in the state as factors that could tip the decision in her favour. Notably, before parleys currently underway for a place in the House began, party sources informed The Indian Express that Bachchan had begun to “send feelers” to the West Bengal CM soon after the UP Assembly results. Her megastar husband Amitabh Bachchan has also often referred to himself as Bengal’s son-in-law, the TMC leader said. the couple is also a regular at the Kolkata Literature Festival, with Amitabh being the chief guest for the fourth straight year in 2017.
On the other hand, the rejig in Rajya Sabha could result in big gains for the BJP which bagged 312 of 403 seats in the UP Assembly elections last year. Among those from the TMC who’s terms in the Rajya Sabha are coming to an end include Kunal Ghosh and Mukul Roy. While the former, an accused in the Saradha scam, had been suspended by the party indefinitely, the latter had quit his seat and TMC last year to join ranks with the BJP. The other two Trinamool MPs set to retire are Vivek Gupta and Md Nadimal Haque.