Lok Sabha Election 2019

Congress, Left alliance on the brink of collapse in West Bengal; no scope of rethinking, says Congress

Congress leader Pradip Bhattacharya

Congress leader Pradip Bhattacharya  

The scope of reconciliation between Left and Congress on electoral understanding in West Bengal disappeared on Wednesday with the latter refusing to have any compromise on 11 seats on which it has already announced candidates.

“From our end there is no scope of rethinking,” State Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Pradip Bhattacharya told journalists in Kolkata. Earlier this week Congress has announced candidates for 11 Lok Sabha seats including Raiganj and Murshidabad — both won by Left parties in 2014.

In its last attempt to salvage the alliance, the Left on Tuesday did not announce candidates for four seats won by Congress in 2014 — Bahrampur, Jangipur, Malda North and Malda South.

At a press conference at State Congress headquarters Mr. Bhattacharya responded to Left Front's overtures by proposing not to field candidates on five seats in south Bengal — Diamond Harbour, Asansol, Tamluk, Bolpur and Bishnupur. Leaders of the Left parties responded by saying Congress has hardly any presence in these five seats.

“Congress got hardly two per cent votes at Bishnupur… this cannot be a subject of debate now. The question is why was the principle of no mutual contest on six seats won by the Left and Congress was not adhered to,” CPI(M) leader and MLA Sujan Chakraborty said.

With talks of alliance virtually collapsing blame game has also started. Mr. Bhattacharya tried to put the blame on Left parties by saying that “Congress wanted an alliance and the Left was insistent on seat sharing.”

“There is no reason to believe that if we contest polls alone our results will be affected. These parties were very much there when we won seats from the State during the elections held earlier,” the Congress leader said.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 11:37:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/congress-left-alliance-on-the-brink-of-collapse-in-west-bengal-no-scope-of-rethinking-says-congress/article26591080.ece

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