The Trinamool Congress on Saturday nominated former Prasar Bharati Chief Executive Officer Jawhar Sircar as its candidate for the upcoming Rajya Sabha byelection in the state.
On July 16, the Election Commission had said that bypolls to the Rajya Sabha seat from West Bengal vacated by Dinesh Trivedi earlier this year will be held on August 9, PTI reported. The bypoll will be held if the opposition BJP fields a candidate for the seat.
Trivedi, a former TMC leader, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on May 6.
The Trinamool Congress said it was “delighted” to nominate Sircar. “His invaluable contribution to public service shall help us serve our country even better,” the party said on Twitter.
“I was a bureaucrat. I am not a political person but I would work for development of the people and raise the issues concerning the masses in parliament,” Sircar said after the nomination was announced, according to The Hindu.
Sircar was appointed the CEO of Prasar Bharati by the United Progressive Alliance in 2012. He resigned in October 2016, four months before the end of his tenure. The former bureaucrat has been a vocal critic of the Modi government, and has frequently castigated its policies.
In an opinion piece in The Wire on May 7, Sircar heavily criticised media organisations for their coverage of the violence in West Bengal after the Assembly elections earlier this year. “Many in the media units now need an escape route and violence is a perfect diversion,” he wrote. “More striking, however, is the self-same manner in which several opinion marketeers were influenced to lap up the claim that law and order has totally collapsed in Bengal.”
In December, Sircar was among a group of civil servants who wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing their dismay over the Central Vista redevelopment project. The letter had questioned why the “wasteful and unnecessary” project should take precedence over social priorities such as health and education.