KOLKATA: Apparently under pressure from Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee, the Congress on Thursday asked its candidate Abdul Mannan to withdraw from the Rajya Sabha elections in West Bengal.
As first reported by Express, the Congress high command was under tremendous pressure from Mamata to withdraw the party’s candidate after Didi accused the Congress of trying to break the alliance.
Veteran politician and former MLA Abdul Mannan withdrew his candidature on Thursday, which was the last date for withdrawal of nomination.
“The Congress has taken a decision for the greater good to withdraw its Rajya Sabha nomination and as a dedicated Congress worker I have done so,” said Mannan.
“I am very disappointed, but what can we do. Certain political compulsions have caused this,” WBPCC chief Pradip Bhattacharya told Express. After consecutive meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday with Bhattacharya, AICC General Secretary-in-charge of West Bengal Shakeel Ahmed telephoned Mannan on Thursday morning to convey the Congress high command’s wishes.
Mannan said the Congress had ‘sacrificed’ its seat. Congress sources said the Congress would need the TMC’s help in the upcoming Presidential and Vice-Presidential elections. Therefore, the party’s Delhi leadership urged the WBPCC to withdraw Mannan’s candidature to placate Banerjee.
“We are thoroughly humiliated. This nomination was important for the grassroots Congress workers,” said a WBPCC leader.
Four TMC candidates, including Railway Minister Mukul Roy, Nadim-ul-Haq, Kunal Ghosh and Vivek Gupta and Left’s Tapan Sen, were elected unopposed to the Upper House from West Bengal.