KOLKATA: In a bid to regain their lost political ground, the West Bengal Congress and the CPI (M) are preparing a "common minimum programme" on the basis of which, they said, they will launch a joint fight against the BJP and the TMC across the state.
"We are now in the process of preparing a common minimum programme, based on which the joint movement or political programmes would be undertaken. It won't be a one-sided affair. It would be a both-way thing. Just after Diwali, we would launch our first joint movement across the state," Bengal Congress president Somen Mitra said.
The way the BJP is gaining ground in the state, it is imperative that the CPI(M) and the Congress join hands to stop the march of "the communal forces", he said.
Senior CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty blamed TMC for BJP's rise in the state.
"It is the TMC which has helped the BJP grow in Bengal. The fight between the TMC and the BJP is a mock fight, aimed at fooling people. It is high time that secular and democratic forces come together," he said.
The development comes in the backdrop of the BJP making deep inroads in Bengal and placing itself as the main challenger of the ruling Trinamool Congress by pushing the traditional Congress and Left Front to distant third and fourth positions respectively.
The BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha elections bagged 18 out of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state, only four short of the TMC.
The TMC's tally has come down from 34 in 2014 to 22 seats in this election.
The CPI(M)-led Left Front has drawn a blank and the Congress tally has come down from four to two in Bengal.
The CPI(M) and the Congress had forged an alliance in Bengal in 2016 assembly polls but it failed to evoke much impact.
In 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the proposed Congress-CPI(M alliance fell apart after both the parties failed to reach an agreement on the seat-sharing deal.
Both the parties recently has also decided to jointly fight the coming bypolls in three assembly segments of the state.
Both the parties has decided that the Congress would contest Kaliaganj seat in North Dinajpur district and Kharagpur in West Midnapore district.
The CPI(M)-led Left Front would contest Karimpur assembly seat in Nadia district.