Congress, Left to join forces against TMC, BJP in run-up to Bengal polls
The Congress and the Left parties in West Bengal have decided to carry out joint agitations against the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Bharariya Janata Party (BJP), projecting both as their common enemy, in the run-up to the coming civic and Assembly elections. The decision was taken at a meeting on Wednesday night.
While the civic polls have been postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the assembly polls will be held in 2021.
The Left Front has 23 seats in the 294-member Bengal assembly. The BJP had managed to win three seats in the 2016 polls but has since increased its tally to 16 because of defections. The ruling TMC’s strength has gone up to 224 from 211.
The Congress and Left Front partners will hold their first agitation in Kolkata on June 29, protesting the hike in petrol and diesel prices. It will be held at Red Road located in the heart of the city.
“The next agitation will be against the alleged irregularities in distribution of relief materials and compensation in districts affected by Cyclone Amphan on May 20. The schedule will be decided later,” said Somen Mitra, president of the state Congress. “This will be followed by another agitation against the plight of migrant workers,” Mitra added.
“At Wednesday’s meeting, we only discussed joint agitations. The issue of sharing seats during the coming polls was not raised as it is too early,” said Manoj Bhattacharya, state secretary of the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP). The meeting was held at the office of the RSP mouthpiece.
“Future will decide who will win the Assembly polls. But the outcome of recent polls and large turnout at our agitations clearly show that the BJP is the only party fighting for the people,” Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh told the media in reaction to the joint agitations announced by the Left and the Congress.
“No amount of agitation can change the ground reality. People know that only TMC serves the people,” said Firhad Hakim, urban development minister and Kolkata mayor.