Battle for Bengal: First peek at Left-Congress alliance

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Kolkata
  • Updated: Mar 04, 2016 13:42 IST
CPI(M) and Congress leaders at a seminar on Wednesday. (HT photo)

Even as the Congress high command remained silent on the issue of aligning with the Left for the Bengal polls later this year, and the CPI(M) waited for the outcome of its central committee meeting in Delhi, state leaders from the two parties shared an apolitical dais on Wednesday. The message: an alliance against the Trinamool was the political need of the moment.

Speaking at a seminar called ‘Ensuing Elections - The Road Ahead’, organised by Centre for Peace and Progress at the Kolkata Press Club, CPI(M) Politburo member and MP Md Salim, Congress spokesperson Om Prakash Mishra and Congress leader Arunava Ghosh stressed on the urgency to forge an alliance against the Trinamool Congress for the coming Assembly elections.

“When our house is on fire, we seek help from our neighbours and overlook our differences. Bengal is burning and we have to unite in order to save her. It is not just the numbers but the ideology we share that will make the state a better place,” Salim said.

In the evening, CPI(M) leader Suryakanta Mishra told party workers in East Midnapore, “No matter what decision the central leaders take, the alliance is already working at the grassroots level.”

Asked about the CPI(M)’s decision to forge a coalition with Congress after 34 years of bitter rivalry in Bengal, he said: “This coalition won’t look at those 34 years but the coming 25 years. If the present government continues to be in power there will be no Bengal left after a few years.”

The Congress leaders, too, spoke along the same line. “We have to save the state. Unemployment, deteriorating law and order, poor education system are plaguing Bengal. Therefore, we must unite and fight,” said Om Prakash Mishra, who has written two letters to Congress president Sonia Gandhi urging her to go for an alliance with the Left in Bengal. He was also part of the 15-member delegation that recently met Rahul Gandhi recently.

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