KOLKATA: Newly appointed West Bengal Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said on Thursday that his party is ready to forge a poll alliance with the CPI (M)-led Left Front in the state to put up a "spirited" battle against the TMC and the BJP in the 2021 Assembly elections.
Chowdhury, who is also the Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, further said that the fight was primarily between secularism and communalism.
"Secular ideals of the Congress will ultimately defeat the communal rhetoric of the BJP and the TMC. The Congress, in alliance with the Left parties, wants to put up a spirited battle against the misrule of the TMC," he said at a press meet, his first after taking over as the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee (WBPCC) president.
Chowdhury had earlier served as the WBPCC chief from 2014 to 2018.
Under his leadership, the party had joined hands with the Left Front and fought the 2016 state elections.
During the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, however, the proposed Congress-CPI(M) alliance fell apart after both the parties were unable to reach an agreement on seat sharing.
"Yet again, I have been given the responsibility of the state unit prior to the Assembly elections. We never wanted to lose the political and poll understanding with the CPI(M) and other Left parties, but after the last elections, the CPI(M) might have felt that it did not get the desired results by getting into an alliance with the Congress. "This could be a reason why the Left decided to go it alone in the subsequent elections after 2016. The Congress, however, never thought so," Chowdhury said.
The senior Congress leader said he would strive hard to strengthen the organisation in the state.
"Once the coronavirus crisis is over, the Congress will resume its fight against the misrule of the TMC government in West Bengal," the five-time Lok Sabha MP said.
He urged defectors, who have joined opposition camps, to return to the party.
"I call up on them (defectors) to return to their grand old party. We will give them their due respect," Chowdhury added.