Bhubaneswar: The Congress Party in the state is trying to forge an alliance with the Communist Party of India (CPI) to strengthen its base ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The party’s seat-sharing adjustment with the Left has moved a step ahead during a meeting of their leaders here Saturday.
The meeting was attended among others by Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Niranjan Patnaik, Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra and CPI’s Odisha unit secretary Asish Kanungo. However, the confabulations remained inconclusive.
Kanungo (CPI) is reported to have insisted that they would field candidates in Aska Lok Sabha constituency along with assembly constituencies in Chatrapur and Boudh. The Congress has apparently agreed to the suggestion.
The CPI has demanded Balikuda-Ersama, Brajarajnagar, Chitrakonda, Junagarh and Sundargarh assembly seats. The Congress, however, did not agree to leave the five MLA seats demanded by the CPI.
“Some steps are being taken to resolve the stalemate over the five MLA seats. They (Cong) have made some suggestions and we have accepted them. I hope, the seat-sharing issue will be resolved in a couple of days,” he said.
When contacted, Patnaik said, “For the first time, we all sat together and discussed. The matter is in progress.”
The CPI is expected to hold its state council meeting here March 3 to take a final call on the seat-adjustments.
Following the discussions the Congress had with CPI, the CPI (M) is trying to bargain for Assembly segments like Bonai, Nilagiri, Remuna, Morada, Pallahara, Brahmagiri and Ranpur. The two parties are expected to meet soon to finalise the issue, said the sources.
Meanwhile, CPM leader Janardan Pati launched campaign vans in Bhubaneswar and on the outskirts of the city. Pati may be aspiring to contest the Bhubaneswar LS seat, it was suggested by sources.
The JMM, on the other hand, has proposed to field its candidate from Mayurbhanj LS seat apart from four other assembly constituencies.
The Pradesh Congress election committee, meanwhile, has decided to meet March 6 to discuss its list prepared by the AICC screening committee. After the approval by the PCC election committee, the list may be sent to the party’s central election committee for approval.