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West Bengal: Congress-Left give shock to Mamata Banerjee, refuses alliance with TMC

Kolkata: The Left and Congress have dealt a major setback to the Trinamool Congress (TMC) ahead of the Assembly elections in West Bengal. 

TMC MP Saugata Roy had on Wednesday appealed to the Left and Congress to join West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the fight against the communal politics of the BJP. Now both parties have completely rejected this advice of Saugata Roy.

The Congress has even said that the TMC should merge with the Congress to fight against BJP. Actually, Saugata Roy had said that if there is any face against communal politics, then she is Mamata Banerjee, that is why there is an appeal by the TMC to the Congress and the Left parties to stand with that face.

Reacting to the TMC’s proposal, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary blamed the ruling party in West Bengal for the BJP’s strength in the state. Adhir Ranjan appealed to Mamata Banerjee to join the Congress. 

“We are not interested in an alliance with the TMC. Why TMC is now interested in coalition after buying our MLAs for last 10 years? If Mamata Banerjee is willing to fight against the BJP, she should join the Congress, as this is the only nationwide platform to fight against communalism,” Adhir Ranjan said.

CPM leader Sujan Chakraborty said after Saugata Roy’s statement, “Why is the TMC desperate for an alliance after the Left Front and Congress have been declared as a negligible political force in the state? This shows that the Left Front is still important. The Left Front and the Congress will defeat both the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the BJP in the assembly elections.”

Congress-Left to discuss seat sharing

Senior Congress leaders will arrive in Kolkata on Friday to discuss a seat-sharing agreement for the West Bengal assembly elections with their coalition partner the Communist Party of India (Marxist). 

Earlier this month, the Congress had formed a committee to enter into a seat-sharing agreement with the Left parties for the West Bengal assembly elections. The committee includes Congress state president Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary, CLP leader Abdul Mannan, former state chief Pradeep Bhattacharya and Nepal Mahato.

On Monday, Bhattacharya and Mannan met Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal in New Delhi. Congress sources have said that the party plans to contest at least 150 seats out of the total 294 assembly seats. 

The Congress has reportedly asked all the district heads to submit a list of constituencies in which they will contest. The seat-sharing agreement between the Congress and the Left parties is likely to be finalized by January 31. The Left Front and the Congress plan to hold a mega joint rally at the Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata in February or March.

The 2021 battle for West Bengal is not easy. Over the last five years, the BJP has positioned itself as the main opposition party in the state. It won 18 Lok Sabha seats in the state in 2019.

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