Kolkata: The Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist), or the CPI (ML), on Thursday announced that it will contest in 12 seats independently and not as alliance partners with the Left Front-Congress in the Assembly polls scheduled to be held this year in West Bengal in April-May.
Addressing a press conference in Kolkata, CPI (ML) general secretary, Dipankar Bhattacharya, said, “We have decided to contest in Phansidewa (Darjeeling), Maynaguri (Jalpaiguri), Mathabari (Malda), Khargram (Murshidabad), Manteswar (Burdwan), Jamalpur (Burdwan), Onda (Bankura), Ranibandh (Bankura), Krishnanagar South (Nadia), Nakashipara (Nadia), Dhanekhali (Hooghly) and in UttarPara (Hooghly).”
He said, “Apart from 12 seats, we will support candidates of other parties including Trinamool Congress (if people of that constituency allow us) to derail BJP’s dangerous game-plan to capture West Bengal. Our main agenda is to prevent BJP from coming to power in Bengal.”
On the Congress-Left Front alliance, he said that he did not feel the alliance had the seriousness to fight against the BJP. "Therefore, we have decided not to be a part of the alliance and decided to congest alone in 12 seats. If required we will support other party leaders in some seats, which can be from Left Front, Congress and Trinamool Congress. We believe that there should be a strong opposition in States similar to the ruling government in Bengal to prevent BJP from coming to power," he said.
“We want a strong Left Front in Bengal but it is a matter of concern that many Left leaders have joined the BJP. BJP is trying to capture Bengal forcibly and it is evident with their strategy to poach leaders from other parties,” he said.
On the farmers protests, that took a violent turn on Tuesday (January 26), Bhattacharya said, “We have demanded a high-level probe into the matter because we all know Deep Sidhu’s association with BJP leaders and he was also seen with Union Home Minister Amit Shah in one of the photographs. It is unfortunate whatever happened at Lal Quila but it has left many unanswered questions."
He added, "In the past (post 2014), we have seen how the ruling BJP attempted to tag people’s movement as an act of traitor. We have seen this in the Rohith Vemula case. We have seen how BJP treated and tagged the Shahin Bagh protestors as traitors. So, considering BJP’s past track record in handling such people’s movements, we have demanded an inquiry into the January 26 incident.”
In the recently held Bihar Assembly polls, the CPI (ML) registered its highest tally in over 30 years in Bihar by winning 12 of the 19 seats it contested.