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Kolkata: ISOLATING CPI-M, Trinamool today announced support for Congress’ nominee for a vacant Rajya Sabha seat from Bengal.

Within hours of this, CPI-M said that it will contest for the Rajya Sabha seat on its own as “an ideological fight” against Trinamool and named state committee leader Rabin Deb as the candidate.

There are five vacant Rajya Sabha seats from Bengal for which election is scheduled on 23 March. Going by the number of MLAs that it has in the Assembly, Trinamool nominees will win in four seats hands down. The opposition Congress or CPI-M stand to win the fifth seat but not without the support of each-other.

Just as the possibility of a behind the scene understanding between Congress and CPI-M for this was being worked upon, Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee announced at an event at Nazrul Mancha in the city today that her party will support the Congress nominee for the fifth seat.

Interestingly, the gesture came even before Congress formally announced the name of its nominee but media were abuzz with reports since this morning that ace lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi’s name has been finalised. Soon, Trinamool put the announcement on its official Twitter handle.

“Trinamool candidates for Rajya Sabha from Bengal ~ Nadimul Haque, Subhashish Chakraborty, Aabir Biswas, and Santanu Sen. Party will support Congress candidate Abhishek Manu Singhvi for the fifth seat,” the tweet reads.

Ironically, it was only yesterday that Trinamool poached a Congress MLA from Murshidabad, eighth since 2016. [READ: Trinamool swallows one more Bengal Congress MLA]

CPI-M was taken aback by Congress unilaterally floating Singhvi’s candidature in Kolkata media and the Trinamool’s announcement for support. Within a few hours of this, the party announced in the evening that Rabin Deb will contest the Rajya Sabha seat as a Left candidate.

“Congress unilaterally finalised Singhvi’s name and Trinamool rushed with support. Given this, we cannot allow Trinamool a walkover and hence party has decided to give it an ideological fight,” Deb told reporters.