RSP protests against Left Front-Congress tie-up in Bengal

Kolkata, March 1 (IANS) The Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) on Tuesday threatened to walk out of the Left Front in West Bengal in protest against the coalition’s proposed electoral arrangement with the Congress.

“Suddenly this tie up is being imposed on us. Just for the sake of discipline we have to keep quiet, but this is creating resentment among our party activists at the grassroots. They are unable to explain this arrangement to the masses,” RSP state secretary Kshiti Goswami told a television channel.

He said the RSP was not only not consulted on the matter, but was discouraged from airing its opinion.

“We have not been consulted on the issue in any way… In fact, we have been reprimanded for voicing our concerns,” he said.

Goswami, a former West Bengal minister, said the RSP might even leave the Left Front.

“There is no compulsion for us to stay like this. We can come out and continue our struggles for the masses.”

Goswami’s protests come even before formal talks begin on the proposed tie-up between the Congress and the Left Front for the state assembly elections which are likely to be held in April or May this year.

He said the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), the dominant partner, might have their own reasons, but the RSP had not been told the rationale of the proposed tie-up with a political foe.

A meeting of Left Front constituents on February 11 put its stamp of approval on holding alliance talks with the Congress.

The coalition is scheduled to meet again on Wednesday to discuss the proposed tie-up.

Earlier last month Communist Party of India (CPI) veteran Gurudas Dasgupta too had lamented that the issue was not being discussed with his party.

Both the Congress and the CPI-M have favoured the need for an electoral arrangement to take on the ruling Trinamool Congress in the coming assembly polls, but the talks are yet to start formally.

A Congress leader has conceded that there were “difficulties” in the way, particularly on the issue of seat sharing.

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