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Siliguri: EVEN as CPI-M has announced that Rabin Deb will be contesting for a Rajya Sabha seat from Bengal, a district unit of its ally Forward Bloc has raised the demand for nominating social worker Padma Shri Karimul Haque.

In its meeting on Sunday, Forward Bloc Jalpaiguri district unit decided that since no political party has selected anyone for nomination from north Bengal, Haque, being a non-partisan social worker from the region, should be nominated to the Upper House of the Parliament.

“We have 16 Rajya Sabha seats from Bengal. Going by the fact north Bengal accounts for one-fourth of Bengal’s population, the region deserves four representatives to the Rajya Sabha and yet no party has picked up even one candidate,” said Forward Bloc Jalpaiguri district secretariat member Govinda Roy.

“Right now, five Rajya Sabha seats are vacant from Bengal and for those elections will be held on 2 April. Trinamool, going by its MLA strength will win in four seats. Additionally, they have extended support to the Congress nominee for the fifth seat. Our demand is that Karimul Haque should be nominated instead,” Roy added.

The Left Front constituent went a step further and suggested that if not from Bengal, Haque should be nominated in one of the two seats that are reserved for President nominated candidates. “The Centre can do this easily as the past government had done in case of Sachin Tendulkar.”

Haque, on his part, however, said that he was not interested in politics. “I believe in good morality and good deeds. Social work is my religion and I want to stay confined within this,” he said on being asked about Forward Bloc’s suggestion.