Congress, CPI(M) alliance talks in Bengal hit two-seat hurdle

The Raiganj and Murshidabad parliamentary seats are held by the CPI(M).

Published: 20th February 2019 09:09 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th February 2019 09:09 PM   |  A+A-

The CPI(M) does not want to relinquish the seats and Mohammed Salim and Badaruddoza Khan


KOLKATA:  The Congress' Bengal unit is miffed with CPI(M) as both the parties are keen on contesting Raiganj and Murshidabad Lok Sabha constituencies, leading to an impasse in seat-sharing talks between them.

The Raiganj and Murshidabad parliamentary seats are held by the CPI(M). These are the only two seats that the Left has in West Bengal, its erstwhile stronghold. A senior Congress said, "We want to contest in those two seats. Raiganj and Murshidabad have always been a stronghold of the Congress. The CPI(M) won them in 2014 due to the four-cornered contest.

The CPI(M) has to be practical and need to understand that it can't win these two seats without the support of the Congress. The political situation has changed a lot since 2014, another Congress leader said.

The CPI(M) on the other hand does not want to relinquish the seats and Mohammed Salim and Badaruddoza Khan, its MPs from Raiganj and Murshidabad seats are keen on contesting the seats this time too.

"These two are our seats. If we let go these seats it will have a negative impact on the morale of party cadres," a senior CPI(M) leader said. Congress leader Pradip Bhattacharya and Abdul Mannan last week held few rounds of talks with CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty and Rabin Deb for seat sharing.

According to Congress sources, state unit president Somen Mitra and CPI(M) state secretary Surya Kanta Mishra will sit for talks within the next week. Mitra sounded hopeful on the matter and said it's too early to comment.

The Congress, sources said, wants to contest around 20 of the state's 42 Lok Sabha seats, and the Left Front, which has to distribute seats among its constituents, is keen on fielding candidates in at least 26-28 seats. The Congress won four seats in 2014. Mausam Benazir Noor, the Congress MP from Malda, defected to the TMC in January.


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