KOLKATA: Congress leaders from West Bengal on Monday met AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi and advocated an electoral alliance with the CPM-led Left Front (LF) to defeat the ruling Trinamool Congress in the State Assembly polls scheduled later this year. Among the leaders who conferred for more than two hours at Rahul’s residence, only party MLA Manas Bhuniya differed and wanted the Congress to contest alone without any tie-up with the LF. The West Bengal Congress think tank has submitted a detailed analysis advocating an electoral alliance with the Left parties and predicting a victory of the coalition to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Rahul and AICC State observer C P Joshi. State Congress president and Lok Sabha MP Adhir Chowdhury said, “I am not advocating for the Left. It’s the grass roots-level Congress workers who want to defeat the dictatorial TMC to restore democracy. It is the CPM which is desperate as its stake is higher but during the polls Congress will be the deciding factor.”
In the 27-page document, State Congress general secretary and spokesperson Omprakash Mishra, a professor of international relations at Jadavpore University, predicted that the outcome of the 2016 polls in case of an alliance would be: Congress-Left Front 161 seats, TMC 126 seats, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha three seats and BJP four seats out of a total of 294 seats.