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Cong, CPM for friendly fight

Congress has said it may not have a formal alliance with the CPM but will have a 'good understanding' with the party in the polls.
PTI | By Press Trust of India, Gangtok
UPDATED ON APR 07, 2004 04:53 PM IST

Opposition Congress in Sikkim on Wednesday said it might not have a formal alliance with the CPI(M) but would have a 'good understanding' with the party in the forthcoming elections in the state.

Sikkim goes to simultaneous assembly and Lok Sabha polls on May 10.

"Even good understanding is some sort of an alliance," Sikkim Pradesh Congress working president Ashok Kumar Subba said.

It meant that the two parties will go to the polls as friends and try not to come in each other's way.

Asked whether the party will let the CPI(M) win the Chakung assembly seat in Sikkim against its own nominee as promised by state Congress leadership recently, Subba said 'good understanding' by implications could mean many things.

Apparently to lure the CPI(M) into a formal pre-poll alliance, state Congress president and former Chief Minister Nar Bahadur Bhandari had said recently that his party will let the CPI(M) win the west Sikkim seat and offer a Cabinet berth to the party if the Congress formed the next government in Sikkim.

An alliance with the CPI(M) will be in the common interest of both the parties as they belong to two neighbouring states, Bhandari had told a press conference.

However, just a few days after Bhandari made the offer, CPI(M) in-charge for Sikkim and West Bengal Urban Development and Municipal Affairs minister Ashok Bhattacharya on a visit to Rangpo last Sunday ruled out a formal alliance with the Congress but made a fervent appeal to the party to support it in its fight with the ruling SDF in the state which was an ally of the BJP.

The Congress, however, is still hopeful of a full-fledged alliance with the CPI(M) and will wait till next week for it to materialise, party sources said.

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