New Delhi : Cross-voting by Left and Congress MLAs on Friday helped the Trinamool Congress gain an extra seat in West Bengal while a similar action by Congress MLAs in Andhra Pradesh saw TRS making its debut in Rajya Sabha as high drama marked the polls to the upper House in the two states.
In Odisha, opposition Congress leader and IPL Chairman Ranjib Biswal managed to win while the ruling BJD failed to ensure victory of an independent candidate it supported, since six of its MLAs did not transfer their surplus votes in his favour.
Trinamool’s candidates film star Mithun Chakrabarty, painter Jogen Chowdhury, painter, and industrialist K D Singhemerged winners in West Bengal, where five seats were up for grabs. An independent nominee Ahmed Hasan, a journalist backed by Mamata Banerjee-led party, romped home at the expense of Congress-supported independent candidate A S Malihabadi as five legislators from the opposition Left Front and Congress voted for Hasan. Three Left MLAs Sunil Mondal of Forward Bloc, Atanu Deb Adhikary and Dasarath Tirkey of RSP, and Congress members Sushil Roy and Emani Biswas cross-voted. While Hasan secured 47 votes Malihabadi got 37 votes. The Congress suspended both Sushil Roy and Emani Biswas.
Left Front nominee Ritabrata Banerjee, SFI General Secretary, was also elected. While Trinamool and Left were assured of comfortable victory for their official candidates, the entire drama was riveted on whether the fifth seat would go to Congress-supported Malihabadi or whether Trinamool could trigger a coup by luring three MLAs from opposition to send Hasan through.