Congress bats for alliance with Left in Bengal, Trinamool ridicules

Kolkata, Dec 31 (IANS) Amid rising speculations of a probable alliance between the CPI-M and the Congress for the 2016 West Bengal assembly polls, the ruling Trinamool Congress on Thursday ridiculed such an electoral understanding calling it a “desperate measure” by parties on the wane.

“They already have a coalition as Left Front, so I wonder what has made them now to cry for another alliance? The CPI-M is a politically bankrupt party which is on a wane. All these are its desperate measures to stay afloat,” Trinamool secretary general Partha Chatterjee said.

“Both the CPI-M and the Congress are spent forces and never follow coalition dharma. Even if they manage somehow to come together, it will only disillusion and antagonise their followers and activists who will then join Trinamool which has been bringing development across the state,” he added.

Chatterjee’s comments came on a day when the CPI-M, at the conclusion of its five-day organisational plenum, asserted of employing “flexible tactics” to deal with swift political changes while the state Congress wrote to party president Sonia Gandhi seeking for a Left-Congress seat arrangement.

Remaining evasive on the issue of aligning with the Congress, the CPI-M state committee will discuss and decide about the electoral plan of action which will then be sent to the central committee and politburo to take a final call.

Asked if the party had ruled out the possibility of such an alliance, CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury said: “It was not the agenda of the plenum to discuss the matter.”

Exuding confidence of ousting the Mamata Banerjee led Trinamool government, Yechury called upon party cadres and leaders to brace for attacks from the ruling party and continue to march ahead towards its goal of setting up the people’s agenda.

On Wednesday, politburo member former general secretary Prakash Karat had said the party will discuss and decide its tactics in the next few weeks for ousting the “authoritarian” Mamata Banerjee regime.

“Flexibility is always there, our tactics have to be flexible to enable us to prepare for any new political situation that is arising,” Karat said when asked about the speculations of a tie-up with the Congress.

Meanwhile, state Congress general secretary O.P. Mishra wrote to party president Sonia Gandhi advocating for a seat-sharing arrangement with the Left Front.

“A Congress-Left Front seat adjustment with a declared common minimum programme would dethrone the Trinamool government and usher in a Congress-Left Front alliance in West Bengal,” Mishra said in the letter giving vote and seat projections for the 2016 assembly polls.

“Given the rapid deterioration of support for BJP in the state, it is expected that a high percentage of BJP vote would travel back to the Left and Congress combine.

“The assembly segment wise vote projection assumes transfer of 40 percent of the total vote received by the BJP in 2014 Lok Sabha polls, in favour of Congress-Left nominees,” he added.

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