Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claimed her lieutenant Mukul Roy had temporarily
Cong will contest 85 to 88 seats as part of the deal.
New Delhi : Notwithstanding the Left leaders denying any electoral alliance in West Bengal, an understanding was struck on Monday to let the Congress contest 85 to 88 seats and the Left Front have 200 plus seats in the 291-member Assembly going to polls in seven rounds from April 4 to May 5.
The Congress leaders in West Bengal were not happy about 15 “bad” seats allotted to it as part of the deal, but they decided not to make any fuss over it, understanding the problems faced by the CPI(M) in tacking other partners in the Left Front. “Our common goal is to oust Trinamul leader Mamata Banerjee from power,” a senior Congress leader in Kolkata said.
Both Congress and Left workers have already started a joint door-to-door campaign in most districts of the state, but leaders of both the parties in Delhi ruled out any joint rally or a joint manifesto, stressing that they were satisfied with the ground-level cooperation.
The joint rally was ruled out since both Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechuri were reluctant. The West Bengal Congress leadership has written to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, suggesting a seminar in Kolkata at which both Rahul and Yechuri can appear as a show of strength against Mamata.
As part of the understanding, the Left will not put up any candidates in the constituencies allocated to the Congress and the Congress will do likewise in case of the seats reserved for the Left. A Left leader said it is as good as an undeclared alliance that takes care of no reflection on the Congress and the Left engaging in a direct fight in Kerala.