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Kolkata: Weeks after Congress leader Abdul Mannan had written to Congress National Chief Sonia Gandhi about the inclusion of Furfura Sharif cleric Abbas Siddiqui with their alliance with Left Front to capture minority votes, CPI(M) sources on Saturday said that senior party leader Biman Bose had asked Abbas to join a closed-door meeting with them.

Worried over the minority votes, the opposition leader of West Bengal Assembly, Abdul Mannan, on February 4 sent a letter to Sonia Gandhi, mentioning that minority voters have shifted away from Congress, which was actually evident even at the last parliamentary elections in 2019.

The letter also highlighted that Congress has been uprooted from all Muslim-dominated assembly constituencies, including in districts such as Malda, Murshidabad, and Uttar Dinajpur, once considered to be Congress citadels.

Incidentally, the seat-sharing agreement between the Left Front and the Congress has still not been finalised and both the parties are scheduled to meet next week to decide on the remaining 101 out of 294 assembly seats.

Senior politburo member Biman Bose has asked Abbas Siddiqui to join them during their meeting.

However, till the time of this reportage, Abbas Siddiqui could not be contacted.

Notably, although the TMC had called it the ‘Team B of BJP’, the Furfura Sharif cleric had floated a new political party called the ‘Indian Secular Front’ to counter both the ruling Trinamool Congress and the BJP.

According to poll analysts, the inclusion of the Indian Secular Front with the Left-Congress alliance can give a tough competition to both the ruling Trinamool Congress and the BJP.

“Siddiqui has been extremely popular amongst Muslims, Dalits and Tribals. A section of voters will vote for the Indian Secular Front and few traditional voters will vote for the Left Front and the Congress. So merger of these three political parties can be a game changer as it will cut many votes of both the ruling Trinamool Congress and the BJP,” stated the poll analysts.

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