Cong indicates TN formula may not work in WB
Reports had it that Congress wants to contest 100 of the 294 assembly seats in WB.
New Delhi: After making the DMK blink in Tamil Nadu, Congress is giving signals that Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress in poll-bound West Bengal is a different cup of tea altogether.
"Coalition is about compulsions. About the ability of both sides to accommodate each other. You have to be cognizant of the fact that you have to be flexible to get the alliance to work," was the refrain of party spokesman Manish
Tewari at the AICC briefing.
Tewari's response came to a host of questions including whether the Congress would "follow Tamil Nadu model" in West Bengal during seat sharing with Trinamool Congress, which is the major party in that state.
Responding to the query about replicating the Tamil Nadu model, the Congress spokesman recited a Ghalib's couplet suggesting that if wishes were horses, then beggars would ride.
His response is significant as it has come at a time when a section of the state leaders were advocating the need for "friendly fights" in some constituencies taking the plea that Trinamool was giving less winnable seats to the Congress.
Steering clear of questions about 'friendly fights', Tewari said that it is the desire of every political party to expand its base. "It is not proper to say anything at this moment when the situation has not crystallised".
Reports had it that after tasting blood in Tamil Nadu, Congress wants to contest 100 of the 294 assembly seats in West Bengal. But the Trinamool Congress may be willing to give only 58 if there is an electoral pact between the two parties.
Congress is expected to begin formal seat-sharing talks with the Trinamool led by the Railway Minister within a week. Elections in West Bengal will take place from April 18 to May 10 in six phases.
Congress sources said state leaders had suggested that the party should seek around 100 seats so that it does not end up becoming an 'also ran' in West Bengal.
Several District Congress Presidents have told the AICC that if Mamata's party refuses to give one-third seats, then the party should explore the option of going it alone.
Party MP Deepa Dasmunsi is in the forefront of the demand to extract a better deal from Mamata.
A section of the Congress is saying that this is the best chance to make it big in West Bengal amid political forecasts that the Left Front, which has ruled the state since 1977, could be on its way out.
But the Trinamool, which is determined to come to power on its own, may be willing to concede only 58 seats to the Congress which in recent years has lost much of its earlier clout in the state to Mamata.
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