Bengal Left Front announces names for 25 seats

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Kolkata, March 15 (IANS) The Left Front on Friday announced its candidates for 25 of West Bengal’s 42 Lok Sabha seats, including the two seats won by the CPI-M in 2014.

Seventeen seats have been left unannounced, which would be divided between the Left parties and the Congress, Left Front Chairman Biman Bose said in a release.

Among the 25 seats, Left Front major Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) will contest in 15 seats, while the partners – the All India Forward Bloc (AIFB), the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) and the Communist Party of India (CPI) – will contest in the remaining 10 seats.

Stating that seat adjustment talks are on with the Congress so that the anti-Trinamool Congress, anti-BJP votes do not get divided in Bengal, Bose said the Left Front did not field any candidates in the four Lok Sabha seats won by the Congress in 2014, as both parties had previously agreed on not having any “mutual contest”.

“In some seats, there could be candidates jointly supported by the Congress and the Left Front,” Bose said.

“Though the AIFB and CPI have fielded candidates in the Purulia and Basirhat seats, the Congress may provide candidates in those two seats if they want,” he added.

According to Congress sources, the two Lok Sabha seats have emerged as bones of contention in seat-adjustment talks between the two parties.

Earlier, the discussions had stalled over the Congress insistence to put up candidates in Raiganj and Murshidabad, the only two seats won by the CPI-M in the state in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

The deadlock was resolved after Congress President Rahul Gandhi intervened and persuaded the state leadership to leave the two seats to the CPI-M.

State Congress President Somen Mitra revealed that he received a call from Bose before the Left Front candidates were announced on Friday and said his party is still in negotiation with the Left over the seat sharing formula.

“I have no comments about their list. We are negotiating about the seat sharing. We have informed them (Left) about our demands and issues. I believe that we will find a solution through the discussions,” Mitra said.

The Congress leader said they would announce the candidates list within the next two-three days.

“I got a call from Biman Bose. He said they would announce the names of a few candidates today. But he never said our negotiation has come to an end,” he added.

The seven-phased Lok Sabha polls will be held from April 11 to May 19 and the counting of votes will be taken up on May 23. West Bengal will go to the polls in all the seven phases.



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