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Disillusioned Cong leaders falling for Trinamool's RS lure

New Delhi, Nov 24 (IANS) After Sushmita Dev and Luizinho Falerio joined the Trinamool Congress and were sent to the Upper House, several leaders from the Congress and other parties are queuing up at Mamata Banerjee's door with the hope that they too may get a berth in the Rajya Sabha as the state has 16 seats there.

But the vacancies, which are going to arise in the Rajya Sabha from the state, will happen in August 2023 and if Trinamool does not ask it's sitting members to resign in between the term. The terms of Trinamool MPs Dola Sen, Shanta Chetri, Derek O' Brien, Sukhendu Shekhar Roy, Sushmita Dev and Pradeep Bhattacharya will end in August 2023, so leaders who are joining for a Rajya Sabha seat may have to wait for more than a year. If elections to the RS are held, Trinamool may win 5 and one may go to the BJP.

While Trinamool may sprung a surprise by asking its members to resign as Mamata has done in case of Arpita Ghosh, who resigned to make way for Falerio, similar way she can nominate other people. As the state leaders may be adjusted in the Assembly, council and other posts, it can ask one of its members to contest the Lok Sabha polls which fell vacant due to the resignation of Babul Supriya. As the former Union minister is tipped to contest as the Mayoral candidate of Kolkata, sources said.

Kirti Azad, Ashok Tanwar and Pawan Varma -- joined Trinamool on Tuesday. They are former parliamentarians with diverse background. Azad, a former cricketer was a BJP MP and then switched to the Congress and now has joined Trinamool. Ashok Tanwar, former Congress Haryana president, left the party and joined Trinamool. Pawan Varma, a former bureaucrat was a Janata Dal (United) MP and is now with Didi.

After joining Trinamool, Ashok Tanwar said only Mamata Banerjee can fight the BJP, thus undermining his former party.

The Congress leaders, who are not happy with the party leadership, are finding refuge in Trinamool and political strategist Prashant Kishor has been facilitating the newcomers and in fact approaching the leaders.

Both Sushmita Dev from Assam and Luizinho Faleiro from Goa, who joined the Trinamool Congress, were considered close to the Gandhi family. It was Faleiro who publicly said that he was approached by none other than Kishor and his team to join the Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress.

After winning the elections in West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress is also trying to make an impact in the national arena now.

Now, the Congress, which was trying to protect the party from poaching by the BJP, needs to keep its guard active against the Trinamool as well.

One of the Congress leaders says that Kishor is on a 'revenge spree to damage the Congress' but if few people leave it will not affect the Congress. Kishor was likely to join the Congress, but the move was stalled by the leaders in the party.