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Trinamool to nominate Jaya Bachchan as Rajya Sabha nominee from West Bengal

Divya Hemnani | Updated on: 19 February 2018, 14:00 IST

Jaya Bachchan’s third term in the Upper House comes to an end on April 3. The sources said the Trinamool Congress is likely to nominate actor and Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Jaya Bachchan as its candidate from West Bengal to Rajya Sabha.

Mamata Banerjee, the party chief would take a final decision about Bachchan being a frontrunner for the nomination, a senior Trinamool Congress leader confirmed. The leader also said, “The official announcement is likely to be made around March 18."

Fifty-eight MPs will retire from Rajya Sabha in April. Ten seats will fall vacant from Uttar Pradesh, which is expected to bring the BJP — which won 312 of the 403 Assembly seats last year — major gains. The SP, which Bachchan now represents, has the numbers to win only one seat.

The Trinamool leader said, “Four of our MP seats are to be vacated, and a number of people are lobbying. At least two new nominees will be seen in the Upper House,” said another source in the Trinamool. Bachchan had begun “sending feelers” to Mamata soon after the UP Assembly election results. “Jaya Bachchan’s Bengali roots and her continued popularity in the state makes her an ideal candidate. Her husband, Amitabh Bachchan, has often referred to himself as the son-in-law of Bengal."

Jaya Bachchan lashed out at the BJP, in April 2017 after a BJP youth worker declared a “Rs 11 lakh bounty” on the West Bengal CM. She also said, " You can protect cows, but women are facing atrocities."

Four Trinamool Rajya Sabha MPs are about to end their terms including Saradha scam accused Kunal Ghosh, who was suspended from the party, and who quit his seat and the Trinamool in October last year to join the BJP. The other two retiring Trinamool MPs are Vivek Gupta, editor of the Hindi daily Sanmarg, and Urdu writer and journalist Md Nadimal Haque.

First published: 19 February 2018, 13:37 IST