TMC to nominate Manish Gupta for RS seat vacated by Mithun
Manish Gupta, former state Power minister will be the Trinamool Congress' nominee for Rajya Sabha. The election to the seat will be held on March 17.
The seat fell vacant after Mithun Chakraborty resigned in December 2016. The actor turned politician became a Rajya Sabha member in April 2014 and his term was set to expire in 2020. He resigned on health grounds.
Chakraborty who was close to the CPI(M), particularly former state Sports minister, Subhash Chakraborty came close to Mamata Banerjee in 2010. Before the 2011 Assembly election, he took part in several rallies and campaigned for Trinamool Congress. He became a Rajya Sabha member in 2014. But the distance between Chakraborty and Trinamool Congress began to grow after he was summoned by the Enforcement Directorate and questioned in connection with the Saradha multi-crore scam.
Manish Gupta shot to fame when he defeated the former Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee from Jadavpur Assembly seat in 2011. Gupta, an IAS officer had served the state government as the Chief Secretary. Bhattacharjee was defeated by 30,000 votes. It was for the first time since 1977, when CPI(M) lost in that key Assembly seat. Jadavpur was a CPI(M) stronghold since 1947 when many refugees from the erstwhile East Pakistan came and settled in the area. In all the elections since 1947, the Left candidates got elected from the seat.
It was Mamata Banerjee who for the first time made a dent when she defeated Somnath Chatterjee from Jadavpur Lok Sabha seat in December 1984. However she was defeated by Malini Bhattacharya of CPI(M) from Jadavpur Parliamentary seat in 1989. Banerjee was elected from the South Kolkata Lok Sabha seat in 1991 and scripted history by winning the seat till 2009.
Gupta lost to Sujan Chakraborty of CPI(M) in the 2016 Assembly polls despite Trinamool's landslide victory. The reason for his defeat was infighting. After the results were out, Mamata Banerjee had promised to rehabilitate Gupta because, under him, the state Power department made remarkable strides both in power generation and distribution.