Distancing itself from the alliance with ISF, Congress West Bengal in-charge Jitin Prasada said in the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meet on Monday that the alliance with the ISF ruined the party prospects in the state, sources said. He said that the ISF alliance was finalized by the Left parties and not the Congress.
At the time of elections, Congress leader Anand Sharma had raised the issue but was snubbed by Adheer Ranjan Chowdhury that the Left had given its share of seats to ISF.
ISF (Indian Secular Front) was formed by the cleric of Furfura Sharif, Abbas Siddiqui with whom the Left tied up an alliance and the Congress was in alliance with the Left.
The Congress state in charge blamed the committee for delaying the seat sharing pact and also said by the time campaigning for the last phases began where the Congress was strong, the election became bipolar between TMC and the BJP, and the party could not get any seat in Malda and Murshidabad, which are its strongholds.
Prasada also said that there was no clarity whether to attack Mamata Banerjee or not and requested the CWC to throw light on the issue of alliance and how to move forward. The Congress could not open an account in West Bengal election this time, as the party had 44 MLAs in 2016 but reduced to 22 after half of the MLAs defected to the TMC and other parties.
Earlier in the day addressing the meeting, party chief Sonia Gandhi said: “This CWC meeting has been convened to discuss the results of the recently-held Assembly polls. We have to take note of our serious setbacks. To say that we are deeply disappointed is to make an understatement.”
“I intend to set up a small panel to look at every aspect that caused such reverses and report back very quickly. We need to candidly understand why in Kerala and Assam we failed to dislodge the incumbent governments, and why in West Bengal we had drawn a complete blank.
The General Secretaries – Jitender Singh for Assam, Tariq Anwar for Kerala, in charge Dinesh Gundurao for Tamil Nadu & Puducherry and Jitin Prasada for West Bengal made their presentations.