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Cong to back independent candidate in WB RS polls, no walkover for TMC

Kolkata : The ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal is not getting a walkover in the Rajya Sabha elections on February 7 with the Congress deciding to back sitting RS member Ahmad Saeed Malihabadi as
PTI January 27, 2014 19:00 IST
PTI
Kolkata : The ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal is not getting a walkover in the Rajya Sabha elections on February 7 with the Congress deciding to back sitting RS member Ahmad Saeed Malihabadi as an Independent nominee, whom the Left is also likely to support.  

The development has evoked sharp reaction from the TMC which said it exposed the “weakness and mutual links between the Congress and the CPI(M)”.

“Malihabadi has approached the Congress seeking the party's support to his candidature and the party high command has asked us to extend support of the Congress MLAs to him,” state Congress chief Pradip Bhattacherjee told PTI here today.  

Bhattacherjee had earlier recommended Malihabadi's name to the party high command as a possible Independent candidate whom the Congress and the Left could support.  
With the Congress high command giving its nod to the name, there will be a total of six candidates in the fray for five Rajya Sabha seats from the state.

TMC has already announced four candidates including actor Mithun Chakrabarty while the CPI(M) has decided to field Ritabrata Banerjee, general secretary of the CPI(M)'s student wing, SFI.

Malihabadi could be the sixth candidate acceptable to both Congress and Left Front.

A former editor of Azad Hind newspaper, Malihabadi is a sitting Rajya Sabha member from Bengal elected in 2008 as an Independent supported by both the parties.