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Bengal Congress Asks CPI(M) to Keep Candidate List on Hold Till Bottleneck Over Seat-Sharing is Resolved

Congress is looking to contest in 17 seats while CPI (M) wants to field candidates in 25 seats. The two parties, however, have been at loggerheads over a few seats including Purulia, Bashirhat and Jalpaiguri.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:March 12, 2019, 10:32 AM IST
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Bengal Congress Asks CPI(M) to Keep Candidate List on Hold Till Bottleneck Over Seat-Sharing is Resolved
File photo of CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
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Kolkata: West Bengal Congress has asked the state CPI(M) not to announce Lok Sabha candidate’s list on March 13 as there are a few more seats where both parties wish to field their candidates.

“We have requested them (CPIM) not to announce the list on Wednesday because ‘seat to seat’ discussion in some constituencies is yet to be done. We need to resolve it first before announcing the list,” Congress MP Pradip Bhattacharya said.

Congress is looking to contest in 17 seats including Purulia, Bankura, Bashirhat, Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Krishnanagar, Hooghly, Burdwan, Howrah, Hooghly, Midnapore (both West and East) while CPI (M) wants to field candidates in 25 seats.

The two parties, however, have been at loggerheads over a few seats including Purulia, Bashirhat and Jalpaiguri.

“We need to sit together to resolve the issues,” Bhattacharya said.

Earlier, there were some issues with the Murshidabad and Raigunj seats but the matter was resolved after Congress President Rahul Gandhi had a word with CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury.

The leaders agreed that both the seats will be contested by the Congress candidates Badaruddoza Khan and Mohammad Salim respectively.

“There are some minor issues over some seats and talks are on to resolve it. It’s a seven phase election and there is no hurry,” CPM Central Committee member Rabin Deb said.

Prior to the resolution talks on the bottleneck over Murshidabad and Raigunj seats, Congress President Somendra Nath Mitra had alleded that CPI (M) was reluctant to share the dais with them in public or political meetings.

“What kind of seat-sharing alliance is this? We told Rahul ji that the alliance (with CPIM) should be public in West Bengal instead of behind the curtains. We told Rahul ji 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 felt that it will be a marriage of convenience. It should be there till 2021,” he had said.

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| Edited by: Angana Chakrabarti
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