Kolkata: The Trinamool Congress (TMC) Chief Mamata Banerjee on Friday released the list of candidates for the election to 294-member West Bengal
Dictating terms to Congress, Trinamool Congress unilaterally announced its list of 228 candidates and set a Monday deadline for Congress to accept the
64 seats allotted to it.
In the list of 228 seats, two have been allotted for Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI) and left 64 seats for the Congress.
"On the basis of my talks with the Congress on Thursday, I have left 64 seats for Congress," said Mamata.
Mamata also slammed the Congress for the delay in reaching a final conclusion in the seat sharing talks for the West Bengal polls.
"We have waited for 18 days, but why is there still a cloud over it? I respect our alliance and therefore, I am leaving 64 seats," she said.
"They are a big party, we are a small party, but in Bengal, it is the main party," Mamata added.
Mamata said that the TMC will wait till Monday for the Congress to come around or else she will declare the rest of the candidates on Monday with the party manifesto.
Both parties had reportedly reached an agreement over 68 seats. But the dispute is now over the quality or winnability of the seats.
The Congress wants three more winnable seats, which the TMC does not want to part with.
The seat-sharing talks between the Congress and the TMC for the West Bengal Assembly elections remains inconclusive. With just over a month left before the first round of polling takes place in the state both parties sparring over what they believe are winnable seats.
The difference between the two parties seems not only on quantity of seats but also on quality. The TMC is ready to part with 68 seats but the Congress wants 90 seats.
The Congress wants to re-nominate some of its sitting MLA's from key constituencies like Kolkata Port but TMC believes those seats are its strongholds.
Cong threatens to fight in all 294 seats
Congress on Friday said it would take a decision whether it would contest in only the 64 seats allotted to it by Trinamool Congress or all the 294 seats in West Bengal Assembly elections.
"It is a very recent development. Top leadership of the party will consider and take a decision on it," AICC general secretary (in charge of WB) Shakeel Ahmed said immediately after the unilateral announcement of candidates' list by Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee.
Asked about the deadline set by Banerjee for Congress to take a decision on the 64 seats, Ahmed told a TV channel here that "Congress leadership will decide whether it will field candidates in 64 seats or all the 294 Assembly seats". He said it would have been better "if we had jointly announced the candidates' lists".
(with additional information from PTI)