Raktima Bose

A similar situation had arisen in 2008 polls: Left

‘Left to focus on intensive campaign programme'

‘Left aiming to get over 50 per cent votes this time'

Kolkata: The West Bengal Left Front leadership expressed doubt here on Saturday that though the alliance between the Congress and the Trinamool Congress for the forthcoming civic elections did not “materialise on paper”, there is a fair chance of the two parties reaching a “tacit understanding” at the ground level over the next few days.

“The anti-Left forces, who had been trying to form an alliance, will continue their discussions over a possible understanding even though it could not be materialised on paper. Learning from past experiences, the Left Front leadership is of the opinion that a tacit agreement could be reached within a week or so,” Biman Bose, chairman of the State Left Front Committee, said at a press conference.

Pointing out that a similar situation had arisen during the panchayat and zila parishad elections in 2008 where the two parties had reached an understanding at the grassroots levels and had swept the polls, Mr. Bose cited incidents of withdrawal of nominations of several candidates of both the Trinamool Congress and the Congress in different municipal areas as an indication of an informal understanding being reached this time too.

Charging that the Opposition will use “every possible means involving money, power and tricks” to fight the Left Front in the civic elections, he asserted that the Left Front will focus on an “intensive campaign programme” to counter it.

“We have already asked our district committees to concentrate on door-to-door campaigning and organising meetings and discussions in their respective localities. Our campaign will stress on broader issues like price rise, unemployment, anti-people policies of the Centre and terror created by the Opposition in the State, besides local issues,” Mr. Bose said.

Emphasising that the relationship between the Front partners is at an “all-time high”, he added that the Left Front is aiming to secure more than 50 per cent of the votes this time.

Reacting to Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee's allegations that the Communist Party of India (Marxist) is inciting violence and spreading terror across the State, Mr. Bose retorted that it was rather her party which is “destroying democracy and snatching away people's democratic rights”.

He also cautioned against parties like the BJP trying to provoke communal tension in certain minority-dominated areas for furthering their own interest.