The doors for a formal alliance between the Left and the Congress for the forthcoming assembly election is West Bengal seem to be all but closed, but a window for an informal tie-up between the two parties is still wide open.
The state Congress leaders during a meeting on Monday had urged party vice-president Rahul Gandhi to forge an alliance with the Left. Gandhi had also indicated that the views of the state unit would not be ignored when the Congress High Command decides on the election strategy. CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said, “Congress cannot be a part of any front or alliance of the Left parties.”
Yechury, however, did not rule out a local-level informal understanding between the two parties. A senior Left leader in favour of the alliance also pointed to the “Siliguri Model” where the Congress helped the Left to form civic bodies in the north Bengal town to keep the TMC at bay. “If local leaders decide to respect voters’ sentiments for an alliance, leaderhship can’t do much. These types of local arrangements at the ground level often take place spontaneously,” said a Left leader.