KOLKATA: The CPI(M)-led Left Front on Wednesday announced candidates for two more Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal, taking the total number to 40.
The development comes hours after the Congress blamed the CPI(M) for the failure of the seat-sharing talks, but decided not to contest five seats in south Bengal as a goodwill gesture to the Left party, for its decision to not fight four seats won by the Congress in 2014.
The two seats for which the Left Front announced its candidates are Jangipur and Malda North -- two of the four Lok Sabha seats that the Congress had won.
However, Left Front Chairman Biman Bose, in a statement, said if the Congress decides to withdraw candidates in two of the Lok Sabha seats -- Raiganj and Murshidabad -- that the CPI(M) had won in 2014, then the Left, too, might take a "positive step".
It would be as per a previous agreed policy of no mutual contest in the seats that both the parties had won last time.
"Never did we discuss any alliance between two parties. The discussions have been limited to seat-sharing deal in the state to ensure maximum pooling of anti-BJP and anti-TMC votes. It was also decided that there would be no mutual contest in the six seats -- two of the CPI(M) and four of Congress -- that both the parties had won last time," Bose said.
The Congress created confusion by putting up candidates in the two Lok Sabha seats -- Raiganj and Murshidabad, Bose said.
His comments comes in the backdrop of the Congress Wednesday blaming CPI(M) for the failure of the seat-sharing talks between the two parties in West Bengal, maintaining its decision to go it alone in the state.
"We have decided that we would also put up candidates in Jangipur and Malda North seats. But, if the Congress decides to withdraw candidates in the two seats won by the CPI(M) last time, then the Left, too, might take a positive step regarding it and might reconsider its decision," he said.
Senior Congress leader Pradip Bhattacharya earlier in the day said: "The seat-sharing talks failed as CPI(M) and Left Front were not keen on a formal alliance. They just wanted a seat-sharing deal for this election. We were not ready for such a marriage of convenience. We were not ready to forge a seat-sharing deal by compromising our dignity."
There is no question of going back on the list of candidates for 11 seats in the state that the Congress announced on Monday night, he said, adding, the party will fight the coming Lok Sabha polls on its own in the state.