With the attempt to strike a deal on the Rajya Sabha seats between the Congress and the Trinamool failing, the latter is in a spot. Now that the Congress has decided to enter the fray and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has announced it will boycott the poll, the Left parties, contesting for one seat, do have 10 votes to spare from their 60 MLAs. Whether they will contribute to helping the Congress through is not known yet.

However, since the Congress candidate is a Muslim and the Left parties lost the last election because of the erosion in their base of Muslim support, they might consider backing Abdul Mannan.

Congress sources said the fact that the party had decided to contest a Rajya Sabha seat rather than help the Trinamool win the fourth seat was “an indication of all-out war.”

On Sunday, the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee unit passed a resolution, supporting Dinesh Trivedi, saying it appreciated the constraints faced by him, and accusing the Trinamool of politicising the state administration. It appears unlikely that the two parties will contest together next year's crucial panchayat elections.

Meanwhile, on Monday, when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh replies to the debate on the President's address, he is expected to address the Trinamool's concerns on the National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC), and that party, in return, is expected not to back the BJP's amendment on the issue.

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