“Rao will hold talks with Banerjee to solve the problem,” said Mukherjee after the meeting.
“The matter now rests with Pranabda and Rao. We will accept AICC’s decision. But we still believe that the seats should go to us. We have retained them for over 40 years,” said senior Congress leader Subrata Mukherjee.
The seats fell vacant after Congress MLAs, Somen Mitra and Sudip Bandopadhyay, were expelled from the state legislature by the Speaker, following a complaint from the Congress regarding their anti-party activities. Both Mitra and Bandopadhyay left the Congress. They successfully contested the Lok Sabha polls on Trinamool tickets. Subsequently, they resigned from the state legislature leaving the Assembly seats vacant, which now sees bypolls on August 18.
Since July 29 is the last date for submitting the nominations, both camps are trying to convince each other regarding their claims.
It is learnt that WBPCC working president Subrata Mukherjee and other senior leaders had made it clear to the Union Finance Minister that they wanted to contest both the seats. But the Trinamool claimed that the areas were their stronghold and two former Congress MLAs from the constituencies—-Mitra and Bandopadhyay——had joined the party and won the LS elections on its tickets.
Subrata , however, said: “If anyone wins a seat on the Congress ticket and later quits the party and joins other party, does it mean we will allow them to contest the seats?”
Sources in both parties said they are working on an unofficial adjustment. “While Trinamool Congress will fight the Bowbazar seat, Congress will field a candidate for Sealdah constituency,” a senior Trinamool leader said.
The Congress is reportedly considering the names of Pradip Ghosh and Subrata Mukherjee from Sealdah and Swarnakamal Saha is likely to contest the Bowbazar seat on a Trinamool ticket.