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Rahul Gandhi to Talk to Yechury to Resolve Seat-sharing Issue in Bengal: Congress

The West bengal Congress leadership had hinted on Monday it was ready to go it alone in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections if the Left Front does not leave for it the two seats.

PTI

Updated:March 6, 2019, 6:46 PM IST
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Rahul Gandhi to Talk to Yechury to Resolve Seat-sharing Issue in Bengal: Congress
File photo of CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
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Kolkata: AICC president Rahul Gandhi will speak with CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury to resolve the impasse over seat-sharing between the two parties in West Bengal, Congress leaders said here on Wednesday.

This comes hours after state Congress president Somen Mitra and chairman of the state coordination committee Pradip Bhattacharya met Gandhi in New Delhi and discussed the issue, among other matters.

Two Lok Sabha seats held by the CPI(M) - Raiganj and Murshidabad - have stonewalled the seat-sharing talks between the two parties.

The two seats are traditional Congress bastions but it lost them in 2014 polls by narrow margins.

"We have given him (Gandhi) details of the problems that we are facing during talks on seat-sharing. We have told him about Raiganj and Murshidabad seats which have been the bone of contention. Rahul-ji has told us that he will speak to Sitaram Yechury to resolve the problem. Let's see what happens," Bhattacharya told PTI from New Delhi.

During the meeting with Gandhi, Mitra mentioned the "aspirations of party workers and leaders" to contest from Raiganj and Murshidabad, Congress sources here said.

"The formula of friendly fight in those seats has also been discussed as neither the Congress nor the Left wants the talks to fail just for two seats. At the same time, we also need to keep in mind the aspirations of party workers," a senior Congress leader privy to the development told PTI.

Mitra on Tuesday wrote a letter to Gandhi underlining the need for "seat-sharing or alliance" with the CPI(M) in order to "stop the march of the BJP in the state and dethrone the Trinamool Congress in 2021 Assembly polls".

The state Congress leadership had hinted on Monday it was ready to go it alone in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections if the Left Front does not leave for it the two seats.

The discussion between state Congress leadership and Gandhi comes two days after the CPI(M) central committee came out with a proposal of "no mutual contest" for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in six seats the two parties jointly hold.

It was seen as a move to untangle the formula of seat-sharing between the two political blocs to consolidate anti-BJP and anti-TMC votes.

While the Congress had bagged four seats in the state in the 2014 general elections, the CPI(M) had won only Raiganj and Murshidabad.

While Uttar Dinajpur's Raiganj has been a pocket borough of the late Congress stalwart Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, Murshidabad's politics has been dominated by the party's firebrand leader and former Union minister Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.

While Raiganj is represented by CPI(M)'s Mohammad Salim at present, Badaruddoza Khan was won from Murshidabad.
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