Kolkata: Talks between the Left and the Congress over sharing of seats for the 2021 West Bengal Assembly elections will begin next week. This information was shared by leaders of the parties Wednesday. The Left and Congress have hit the roads together over the last one year on several issues. Their movement has been against the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal as against the policies of the BJP.
“Now, this is the time to take forward this alliance to its logical conclusion, and that is sharing of seats for the elections. The preliminary talks will begin next week,” West Bengal Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said Wednesday.
“The TMC and the BJP are trying to polarise Bengal on communal lines. It is the duty of the Left and the Congress to provide a third alternative,” Chowdhury added.
The two sides want to begin the talks early to avoid last-minute ‘hiccups’, informed Chowdhury. The elections are slated for April-May next year.
“The talks are being started now so that there are no problems at the last moment. We struck a seat-sharing deal for the 2016 Assembly elections but it was half-baked. During the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, we couldn’t stitch an alliance. This was because the talks failed at the last moment,” Chowdhury said.
The Left-Congress tie-up bagged 76 seats in the 294-member West Bengal Assembly in 2016.
Senior Congress leader and MP Pradip Bhattacharya has been chosen as the chairman of the newly-formed coordination committee. He along with Chowdhury and the state’s Leader of Opposition Abdul Mannan will lead the talks with the Left parties.
“The party’s district presidents and office-bearers of the state committee have been asked to submit reports. It will be about strengths and weakness of the organisation in their districts,” a senior state Congress leader said.
Left Front chairman Biman Bose recently had a telephonic conversation with Chowdhury. He urged Chowdhury to initiate the talks as early as possible, said sources in the CPI(M).
In a tweet, Chowdhury urged Congress and Left Front leaders not to pay heed to ‘canards’ being spread against the alliance.
“In the next election, the Left-Congress alliance will fight against the TMC and the BJP to form a government in Bengal. Attempts are being made to create confusion over the alliance in various ways. Friends in the Congress and the Left, please do not pay heed to any such propaganda,” Chowdhury said.