The Trinamool Congress on Monday announced the Rajya Sabha nominations with the re-appointment of three important veteran members: Derek O’Brien, Sukhendu Sekhar Ray and Dola Sen. However, Shanta Chhetri from Darjeeling and Susmita Dev, who recently joined TMC from Congress, have been kept out. by enrollment. Three new faces also joined the nominations.
Senior leader Shekhar Ray speaking News18Expressing his gratitude, he said, “It is a matter of great honor to be in the Upper House for the third time in a row. I heartily respect Didi for her generosity. I will fulfill my responsibilities as an MP along with my fellow countrymen in the Rajya Sabha, as per the instructions of Didi (Mamata Banerjee) and our national general secretary Abhishek Bandopadhyay.”
Former Maharashtra journalist and RTI activist Saket Gokhale, who also served a jail term for his tweets, holds a significant influence on social media platforms. He had joined TMC two years back.
In a tweet, he said: “I am overwhelmed by their faith in me and giving this opportunity to a young middle class boy coming from a non-political background. They have been my source of strength, my inspiration for public service and a strong pillar like a rock who has stood by me and my family in the toughest of times. I promise to give my all to be an effective public representative and law maker and stand firm for our democracy and Constitution.
I am very grateful to my leaders @MamataOfficial , @abhishekitc To set me up as a candidate for election to the Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha. I am overwhelmed by their faith in me and giving this opportunity to a middle class young boy coming from a non-political family… https://t.co/q13h9F79up
— Saket Gokhale (@SaketGokhale) 10 July 2023
Prakash Baraik hails from the remote village of Alipurduar and grew up on the Indo-Bhutan border. As a tribal, he is currently serving as the TMC President for Alipurduar and was nominated to the Rajya Sabha for the first time. talking to News18Expressing his gratitude, he said, “I come from a small village and could never have imagined that Mamata Banerjee and Abhishek Banerjee would give me this opportunity. I am a poor man and will work hard to work for the betterment of the backward communities.”
Sameerul Islam, president of Bangla Sanskriti Manch, is a well-known progressive minority personality who has been working dedicatedly for the backward class for a long time. Significantly, he is not from TMC. talking to News18, he said, “It is an important responsibility given to me, and it comes with challenges. I will have to make a tremendous effort and I will definitely work hard. This responsibility is huge for me.
The decision to nominate old-timers and introduce newly educated minority faces with a focus on the backward classes of North Bengal is a notable aspect of TMC’s Rajya Sabha nomination.
O’Brien has been a long-time member of the Rajya Sabha, making him an obvious choice because of his experience and prominence within the party. Meanwhile, Sukhendu Ray is considered an experienced leader and his frequent nominations reflect his valuable contribution and seniority. Similarly, Dola Sen’s association with Mamata Banerjee since the early days of the movement has played a role in her nomination.
Dynamics of three new entries
Being an RTI activist and influencer, Saket Gokhale has faced legal consequences including imprisonment, and his presence adds a strong national dimension to the party.
Prakash Baraik’s representation of the tribal community in North Bengal is of vital importance to the TMC. Badaik’s tribal background sends a message to the community and his reputation for a modest lifestyle aligns with the TMC’s preference for such individuals, given the party’s relatively weak performance in north Bengal since 2018.
Sameerul Islam is an undeniable representative of the progressive minority face. With parties like ISF and Congress trying to eat into TMC’s minority vote bank, Islam’s presence benefits the party. While he represents a minority community, he also actively works for the upliftment of backward Kurmis and other communities, which further strengthens TMC’s position.