Congress-Left Front decide to contest 77 seats in Bengal; talks on for remaining
- The sharing of the remaining 217 seats will be concluded by January 31, said Pradip Bhattacharya, senior Congress leader.
The Congress and the Left Front have decided to field candidates in 77 seats that were won by them in the 2016 West Bengal assembly elections. For the rest 217 seats, talks between the two parties are still on.
“As of now, we have agreed on the principle that the 77 seats that were won by the Congress and the Left parties in 2016 Assembly elections will be in same status quo. At present, it's won't be possible to talk about the exact numbers. The sharing of the remaining 217 seats will be concluded by January 31,” said Pradip Bhattacharya, senior Congress leader.
While the Congress had won 44 seats, the Left Front had won 33 seats in the last assembly elections in 2016. Leaders of Congress and the Left Front held a joint press conference after a meeting to decide the seat-sharing.
The state assembly elections are just around the corner. The Congress and the Left Front partners, headed by the CPI(M), contested as allies in the 2016 assembly polls but could not stop the TMC from retaining power with 211 out of the state’s 294 seats. Since the Congress benefited more from the alliance and wrested 44 seats, the tie-up did not last.
Left Front chairperson Biman Bose said that the Left parties and the Congress would organise joint rallies on the Republic Day on Tuesday to protest against the contentious farm laws and in support of the farmers. He also said that on January 30 the Congress and Left parties would rally up to the Gandhi Bhawan.
For the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the principal contenders in the upcoming West Bengal assembly election, change in vote share of the Left and the Congress may play a crucial role although the latter has weakened significantly in the districts since the 2014 Lok Sabha polls
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- The opposition leader is also scheduled to meet senior TMC minister Firhad Hakim and hold talks about the upcoming Bengal polls.
- TMC and BJP have dismissed the Left rally as insignificant. While the TMC claims CM Mamata Banerjee will return to power for the third time, BJP says the elections are bi-polar and there is no space for the Left.
- The BJP lodged a complaint in the Phoolbagan police station. Senior BJP leaders of the state rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation.
- The TMC asked the EC why the polls could not be held in fewer phases.
- She alleged that the poll panel scheduled the election dates keeping in mind the BJP’s demands.
- The CBI earlier questioned Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Abhishek Banerjee’s wife Rujira Banerjee in the case.
- Besides rallies, the chief minister’s itinerary could include religious stopovers at important places of worship.
- "Modi government only makes false promises, has done nothing to bring down fuel prices," PTI quoted the Bengal chief minister as saying.