WB: All major parties keen on going solo in LS polls

Last Updated 21 January 2019, 15:39 IST

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is aiming to unify the Opposition against the BJP through her recent mega rally in Kolkata.

However, in her home state all major parties including the Trinamool Congress (TMC) are keen on going solo in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Along with the presence of the two Congress leaders —Mallikarjun Khagre and Abhishek Manu Sighvi—, the open support extended for the TMC’s rally by Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi has irked the CPM leadership, who are unsure whether the Congress will join hand with the TMC or the Left Front in West Bengal.

Speaking to DH, senior CPM MLA and leader of the Left Legislative Party in the Assembly Sujan Chakraborty said that it seems that the Congress wants to keep “many options open” due to political compulsions.

“Every party has their own political compulsion and the Congress in no exception. It seems they want to keep all options open. Let Congress do what they want. Left Front will go ahead with the aim of uniting anti-TMC and anti-BJP votes in Bengal,” Chakraborty said.

The Bengal leadership of the Congress is confused with the High Command’s decision to send Khagre and Sighvi to the TMC’s rally.

Their repeated assertion that they don’t want any alliance with the TMC and wish to contest the Lok Sabha elections either on their own or in alliance with the Left Front has put them in a spot.

State Congress president Somen Mitra has been steadily raising his pitch against the TMC and is leading several agitations against the Mamata Banerjee-led state government.

According to Congress sources, the state leadership is aware that Rahul and Sonia Gandhi’s open support to Mamata’s rally has not gone down well with the CPM.

“I don’t think the TMC has any interest in joining forces with us in Bengal. Moreover Rahul and Sonia Gandhi’s open support for TMC’s rally has also put off the CPM. This has made the situation very complicated for us,” a senior state Congress leader said.

According to sources, the TMC is “least bothered” about alliances in West Bengal.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee along with other TMC leaders has made it clear that the party wants to bag maximum seats from the state.

Moreover, the Congress’ weak organisation and declining support base in the state has made the TMC leadership doubtful whether joining forces with the Congress in Bengal for the upcoming Lok Sabha election would be logical.

(Published 21 January 2019, 14:06 IST)

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