Buddhadeb asks Congress to align with Left, Trinamool mocks effort

Singur (West Bengal), Jan 16 (IANS) Giving a categorical message to the Congress to align with the Left Front for the upcoming West Bengal assembly polls, former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Saturday asked the party to spell out its stand on the issue. The state’s ruling Trinamool Congress ridiculed the efforts to cobble up a Left-Congress front.

Bhattacharjee, a senior leader of Left Front spearhead Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), called upon other Leftists and political parties as also all sections of the people to join hands and remove the Trinamool Congress from power.

“We Leftists have come together. We are urging other Leftists to come with us to save the state from doom. We are appealing to all the parties. We are asking the Congress, on which side of the fence are you? On which side are you in this fight?” Bhattacharjee said.

“We are asking all sections of the people to join hands. In the coming struggle, we will show that we are not alone, we will remove this enemy from power,” he said, while flagging off a padyatra (march) from this rural hamlet in Hooghly district to Salboni in West Midnapore.

The padyatra was organised by the Leftists under the banner of the Bengal Platform of Mass Organisations.

With assembly elections around three months away, the CPI-M has been repeatedly sending out feelers to the Congress to form an alliance to take on the Trinamool.

Earlier, CPI-M state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra and party politburo member Mohammed Salim had asked the Congress to take a decision on the issue.

A majority of Congress leaders have also expressed a desire to tie up with the Left Front.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, while the Trinamool secured 39.3 percent of the votes, the Left Front and the Congress got 29.5 percent and 9.6 percent, respectively.

Reacting to the proposal, the Congress said it was holding detailed consultation with party leaders and workers on the issue.

C.P. Joshi, the All India Congress Committee general secretary in-charge of Bengal, said such a decision could not be taken in haste, and once the consultation process with party workers and leaders is over, party president Sonia Gandhi would be intimated of the development.

State Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said his party received such a proposal from the top leadership of the CPI-M much earlier.

“Buddhadeb is talking of an alliance only now. But the Congress has got such a proposal from the highest level of the CPI-M much earlier. We are trying to convey the sentiments of the people of Bengal to the central leadership. If the leadership takes a decision, we will convey it.”

However, the Trinamool ridiculed the efforts to cobble up a Left-Congress front.

“The proposed alliance is motivated by the hunger for political power. They are underestimating the good sense of the common people. The common people will go for progress and development but not for faulty politics and dictatorship once again,” said Trinamool secretary general Partha Chatterjee.

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