The CPI(M) and Congress have announced that they will fight the Tripura assembly elections together, in a major shake-up in the political arena of the northeastern State, where the two parties were considered arch-rivals.
The announcement was made after AICC general secretary Ajoy Kumar held a meeting with CPI(M) State secretary Jitendra Choudhury on Friday evening. Left Front convener Narayan Kar was also present at the meeting.
"A state Congress team will sit with the CPI(M) state secretary to formulate a strategy and finalise the seat sharing. We will fight together in the assembly elections," Mr. Kumar told reporters.
Assembly polls are due in Tripura this year.
Mr. Choudhury said both the CPI(M) and Congress have started discussions with "an open mind" to fulfill the people's aspirations and defeat the BJP, which has been "destroying the constitutional order" in the State for the past five years.
"The number of seats is not important, but defeat of the saffron party is the main agenda," he said.
Mr. Choudhury said his party is also in talks with Tipra Motha chairman Pradyot Debbarma.
The announcement marks a tectonic shift in the State's political landscape, as the Congress was the main opposition to the CPI(M)-led Left Front, which ruled Tripura for 25 years before being routed by the BJP in 2018.
The ruling BJP, meanwhile, said that an alliance between the CPI(M) and the Congress would augur well for it.
"Earlier, they used to maintain cozy relations covertly, and now it will be in the open. In fact, the CPI(M) had ruled for so long because of its understanding with the Congress," BJP State president Rajib Bhattacharjee said.