Congress in Bengal favours alliance with Left Front

New Delhi, Feb 1 (IANS) The majority of the members of a team from the West Bengal Congress on Monday expressed their willingness for an alliance with the Left Front for the upcoming assembly polls, after meeting party vice president Rahul Gandhi.

According to one of the members of the delegation of the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee, almost all members were against tying up with the Trinamool Congress.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi will take a final call on a possible alliance.

“We had a long discussion with our vice president Rahul Gandhi ji. I must appreciate that Rahul Gandhi ji gave us a patient hearing,” the Congress’s Bengal unit chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury told media persons.

“He (Gandhi) listened to us with rapt attention, although everyone present there expressed independent views. Rahul ji has assured us that all the views expressed will be taken into account. After having a threadbare discussion with Sonia ji, we will be sitting together again and at that time, the views of the Congress party will be announced,” he said.

On the possibility of an alliance with the Left Front, he said: “I cannot say that an alliance between the Congress and CPI-M has been done.

“Rahul Gandhi assured us that in consultation with Sonia Gandhi, he will be able to conclude the chapter of alliance, either yes or no.”

Chowdhury is believed to be among those leaders who are of the view that an alliance with the Left Front was the only way to challenge the ruling Trinamool in Bengal.

“Everybody expressed their views in the meeting. There were only few of them who said that the Congress should go alone in the polls,” Chowdhury told IANS.

Meanwhile, state Congress spokesperson Omprakash Mishra, who has been advocating a tie-up with the Left Front, said: “We hope that decisions on seat-sharing adjustments with the Left will be finalised soon.

“We had a good meeting with Rahul ji and it was an interactive discussion. It was very democratic and transparent.

“Everyone expressed their views and almost everybody pitched in for seat-sharing adjustments with the Left. Not a single member was in support of an alliance with the Trinamool Congress. Only two of them wanted that the Congress should contest the elections alone and (former state Congress chief) Manas Bhunia was one of them,” Mishra told IANS.

“To this, most of us gave an explanation that if we go alone, then we will get only 15-16 seats,” Mishra added.

Asked about Rahul Gandhi’s reaction, Mishra said: “Rahul Gandhi ji said he was yet to get a complete picture of the situation and only after discussions with Congress president Sonia ji, he will be able to come to a conclusion.”

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