Congress to contest all 42 LS seats in Bengal

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Kolkata, March 18 (IANS) The Congress on Sunday announced it would contest all 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal as its seat adjustment talks with the Left Front have collapsed.

“We do not think that we need any alliance by compromising our party’s dignity. To maintain the dignity of the party, we don’t have any other option than fight,” state Congress chief Somen Mitra told media persons at the state party headquarters Bidhan Bhavan here.

The state Congress chief would fly to Delhi to seek clearance from the party high command on its stand.

“We will contest all the 42 Lok Sabha seats on our own,” Mitra said, thus making it clear that the Congress would be in fray in Raiganj and Murshidabad constituencies also – which were won by LF major Communist Party of India-Marxist in the 2014 polls

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The immediate trigger for the Congress’ decision was the LF deciding to nominate, as an independent from Birbhum, Rezaul Karim, the head of the state Congress medical/doctors cell.

Peeved at Karim’s nomination, Mitra had on Saturday expelled him from his post as also the organisation, terming it as an act of “indiscipline”.

Mitra complained that during the talks, the LF leaders came up with “weird logic”.

“During the meeting, they came up with weird logic, like they wanted to decide about the candidates of our party. For instance, in Birbhum, they have announced the name of the chairman of the doctor’s cell of our party. They did not even bother to seek our permission.”

“If the Left Front announces our seats, then why should we wait? We must announce all 42 seats,” he said.

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Mitra said in the Darjeeling constituency also, the LF leaders were “asking us to take candidates from a certain place”, despite agreeing to leave the seat to the Congress.

“We couldn’t take these sort of logic with ease. And hence we informed Delhi that it is not possible to form an alliance. So once you (Delhi) ratify the decision, we will make the future plans accordingly,” he said.

–IANS

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