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2-min read

We Have Our List Ready, Says Bengal Congress After Left Declares Candidates For 2 Seats

Congress' Bengal unit chief Somen Mitra said his party won't compromise with its dignity and has its list of 42 candidates ready.

PTI

Updated:March 8, 2019, 11:49 PM IST
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We Have Our List Ready, Says Bengal Congress After Left Declares Candidates For 2 Seats
FIle photo of Bengal Congress president Somendra Nath Mitra with Congress chief Rahul Gandhi. (Credit: Twitter)
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Kolkata: Miffed over the CPI(M) unilaterally announcing candidates for the Raiganj and Murshidabad Lok Sabha seats, Congress' Bengal unit chief Somen Mitra on Friday accused the Left Front of not being keen on having an alliance.

Mitra said his party won't compromise with its dignity and has its list of 42 candidates ready, asserting that it has left the matter to the high command to take a final call.

"It seems that the Left Front is not keen on having an alliance with the Congress. The Left Front won't be able to win a single seat without the help of Congress in the state. But Congress would be able to retain its four seats," Mitra told reporters late in the night after an urgent meeting with state leaders.

"If needed we will fight alone in the state. We have our list of 42 candidates ready. We wanted an alliance till 2021 assembly polls so that our alliance or understanding gets acceptability from the masses. But the CPI(M) is more keen on short term political gains and doesn't want any long-term adjustment," he said.

Amid the ongoing seat-sharing talks between the CPI(M) and the Congress, the Left Front on Friday announced its candidates for Raiganj and Murshidabad seats, the bone of contention between the two parties.

The current MPs in those two seats -- Mohammed Salim from Raiganj and Badaruddoza Khan from Murshidabad -- would contest, Biman Bose, chairman of the CPI(M)-led Left Front, said.

The announcement of candidates in these two seats held by the CPI(M) might lead to a breakdown in the seat-sharing discussions between the two side and eventually pave the way for a four-cornered contest in the state in the upcoming general elections.

The development came at a time when Congress president Rahul Gandhi had asked his party's in-charge of West Bengal, Gaurav Gogoi, to speak to CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury in order to resolve the impasse over seat-sharing.

Gandhi had also met the state Congress chief to discuss the matter. The state Congress had requested Gandhi to take a call on the matter.

The CPI(M)'s central committee on Monday came out with a proposal of "no mutual contest" in the Lok Sabha polls in the six seats held by the two parties in the state.

It was seen as a move to untangle the seat-sharing skein between the two parties, aimed at consolidating the anti-BJP and anti-TMC votes.

While the Congress had bagged four seats in the state in 2014, the Left party had won only Raiganj and Murshidabad.

The seats, won by the CPI(M) by a slender margin in a four-cornered contest, are known to be Congress bastions.

While North Dinajpur's Raiganj has been a pocket borough of Congress stalwart Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, Murshidabad's politics has been dominated by the party's firebrand leader Adhir Chowdhury, who is also a vociferous supporter of the alliance with the Left.

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