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Alliance With CPI(M) Should Be Public, Else It'll Look Like Marriage of Convenience, Says Bengal Cong Chief

State Congress president Somendra Nath Mitra met party president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday to resolve the Lok Sabha seat-sharing issue with the Left Front.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:March 6, 2019, 10:20 PM IST
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Alliance With CPI(M) Should Be Public, Else It'll Look Like Marriage of Convenience, Says Bengal Cong Chief
FIle photo of Bengal Congress president Somendra Nath Mitra with Congress chief Rahul Gandhi. (Credit: Twitter)
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Kolkata: The Bengal unit of the Congress has demanded that seat-sharing arrangements with the CPI(M) be ‘public’ instead of it being ‘behind the curtain’.

The development came after state Congress president Somendra Nath Mitra met party president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday to resolve the Lok Sabha seat-sharing issue with the Left Front.

Speaking to News18.com, Mitra said, “The CPI(M) doesn’t want to share dais with us in public or political meetings. What kind of seat-sharing alliance is this? We told Rahulji that the alliance should be public in West Bengal.”

“We told him that we want an alliance with the CPI(M) till the next assembly election in 2021 and not only for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Otherwise, we personally feet that it will be a marriage of convenience.”

On the Raiganj and Murshidabad seats which have been the bones of contention between the Left and Congress, Mitra said, “We put forward our views and winning possibilities in Raiganj and Murshidabad before Rahulji. He gave a patient hearing and will inform his decision soon.”

On March 5, Mitra wrote to Gandhi raising the seat-sharing issues he was facing from the party leaders, mainly in Raiganj and Murshidabad.

In his letter, Mitra also highlighted ways/strategies needed to prevent the Trinamool and BJP from coming to power in the 2021 assembly polls.

“I have mentioned everything to Rahulji. Now, it is for him and the AICC to decide,” Mitra said.

From 2004 to 2014, Congress’ Abdul Mannan Hossain represented the Murshidabad Lok Sabha seat, while the late Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi and later, his wife Deepa Dasmunsi represented the Raiganj seat from 1999 to 2014.

At present, the Raiganj and Murshidabad constituencies are represented by the CPI-M’s Mohammed Salim and Badaruddoza Khan, respectively.

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