KOLKATA: The Left Front (LF) and Congress, who have decided to contest the upcoming Assembly elections in West Bengal together, on Sunday held the first formal meeting to chalk out a seat-sharing formula.
While the Congress wanted to field candidates in 130 out of 294 seats, the Left refused to agree to the demand.
LF chairman Biman Bose said two more meetings would be held and a seat-sharing deal would be finalised this month itself.
“There is no misunderstanding between us. Even though we are yet to seal the deal, we will fight the election together to save the state from religious polarisation,” said Bose.
Congress state president Adhir Chowdhury, who refused to respond to the TMC’s recent call to support it, said the LF has many partners and it needed time to discuss the issue with those parties.
Recently, the TMC gave a call to non-BJP parties to support it to decimate the BJP in Bengal.
“If the LF and Congress are seriously anti-BJP, they should support Mamata Banerjee in her fight. She is the real face of secular politics against the BJP,” TMC MP and spokesperson Saugata Roy had said.
Chowdhury, who never misses an opportunity to blame the ruling party for BJP’s rise in Bengal, said, “We are not interested in supporting the TMC. The ruling party has been poaching our MLAs for last 10 years. If Mamata is serious in fighting the BJP, then she should join the Congress as it is the only national party to fight against communalism.”
The LF and Congress wanted to strike a deal in 2019 Lok Sabha polls but their talks failed after the CPI(M) rejected the Congress demand for Raiganj seat.
The LF and Congress had contested Assembly polls in 2016 in alliance. While the Congress bagged 44 seats, the LF had to satisfy itself with just 26.
“In many seats, our candidates were not supported by Congress voters. This was why we faced a debacle despite having a deal with the Congress,” said a CPI(M) leader.
Disenchanted Satabdi appointed to TMC committee
Amid speculations about Trinamool leader Satabdi Roy’s defection to the BJP, the actor-turned-MP from Birbhum has been elevated as the vice-president of the ruling party’s state committee. Meanwhile, Satabdi said she hoped to resolve her issues with the party soon.