Kolkata: CPM's plan to back rebel Congress leaders against candidates of the opposition alliance in some districts to divide votes will not work this time, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday.
"The Alimuddin Street (CPM state party headquarters) blueprint will not work this time. The understanding is between Congress and Trinamool Congress," Mamata said in reply to a question on reports of Congress rebels contesting as Independents in some districts.
"It is the Trinamool Congress and Congress candidates who will win and the CPM will lose. It will not work to back dummy candidates," Mamata told a press conference.
"The days of dummy candidates are over," she said apparently referring to the scenario in 2001 when Congress rebels contesting in several seats queered the pitch of the Congress-Trinamool Congress alliance.
She also alleged that the CPM was helping the BJP with money.
Two sitting Congress MLAs Fazle Haque and Chittaranjan Roy in North Bengal have filed nominations as Independents. Haque will contest from Cooch Behar's Dinhata against NCP nominee which was allotted to the party by the Trinamool, while Roy will contest from North Dinajpur's Hemtabad against Trinamool nominee in the first phase of the polls on April 18.
Islampur municipality chairman Kanai Agarwal, another Congress leader who was denied a ticket, has decided to contest as an Independent from a North Dinajpur constituency.
Two dissident sitting Congress MLAs Ram Pyare and Abdul Khaleq Mollah in Kolkata have also decided to contest as independents despite Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's warning on Sunday that they faced expulsion.
"None can claim to have a moral right over poll tickets. It is the party's prerogative," Mukherjee had said.
Adhir Chowdhury, the Congress MP from Berhampore and party's district president, is backing Independents against Trinamool nominees in four Murshidabad seats. Another Congress MP from Raiganj in North Dinajpur district, Deepa Dasmunshi has thrown her weight behind Independents in Islampur and Hemtabad.
Deepa, wife of the ailing former union minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi has publicly expressed reservation on the seat adjustment with the Trinamool by the Congress high command. The Trinamool Congress has left only 65 of the 294 seats to Congress to contest.