File photo: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.(PTI)
File photo: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.(PTI)

Rahul Gandhi seeks opinion from Bengal leaders on alliance with Left against TMC, BJP

Gandhi also sought reports on party’s poll preparedness in the state.
By HT Correspondent | Edited by Sparshita Saxena | Hindustan Times, Kolkata
UPDATED ON NOV 28, 2020 12:01 AM IST

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday held a virtual meeting with leaders of the West Bengal unit and sought their opinion on allying with the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and its Left partners for the assembly elections due in about five months. Gandhi also sought reports on party’s poll preparedness in the state.

Bengal Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and senior state leaders took part in the meeting. “Rahul Gandhi asked for our opinion on an alliance against the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). We conveyed our thoughts to him. That is all we can say right now,” Chowdhury told HT on Friday night.

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“The issue of sharing seats with the Left will be discussed at a later stage,” he added.

The Congress and the Left had contested the assembly polls as allies in 2016 but could not make a dent in the vote bank of the TMC. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, they did not have an alliance and lost major chunks of their vote share. While Congress managed to retain two Lok Sabha seats, the CPI(M) lost all.

Over the past two years, many Congress and Left legislators have defected to the TMC and the BJP.

Commenting on TMC’s heavyweight leader Suvendu Adhikari quitting the cabinet on Friday, Chowdhury said, “Whether he will join the BJP is up to him. I am happy to see chief minister Mamata Banerjee being paid in her own coins. She engineered defections in our party over and over again to weaken us. History has a nasty habit of repeating itself.”

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