The prospective alliance between the Left Front and the Congress was pushed into further uncertainty on Wednesday with the Left Front declaring candidates for the Jangipur and Malda North Lok Sabha seats.
These two seats were won by the Congress in the last Lok Sabha elections.
The move is being seen as a snub by the Left Front to the Congress’ gesture of not fielding candidates for the Diamond Harbor, Asansol, Bolepur, Bishnupur and Tamluk Lok Sabha seats for now.
The state Congress leadership made the announcement earlier in the day.
Left Front chairperson Biman Bose made it clear in a statement that the Left Front never sought an “alliance” with the Congress but only wanted a “seat sharing agreement”.
He also claimed that the Congress accepted the condition that there will be no mutual contest in the seats— two won by the CPM and four by the Congress— won by both sides in 2014.
“Keeping in mind the current political situation and the relationship of parties with the people, Zulfikar Ali is being fielded from the Jangipur Lok Sabha seat and Biswanath Ghosh is being fielded Malda North Lok Sabha seat as Left Front nominated CPM candidates,” Basu said.
He also accused the Congress of complicating the situation by declaring candidates for the two seats won by the Left Front in 2014.
However, in a last ditch effort to keep the possibilities of the alliance alive Basu stated that the Left Front will reconsider its latest decision if the Congress withdraws candidates from the Raiganj and Murshidabad seats won by the Left Front in 2014.
“Despite all this, if the Congress withdraws its candidates from the two seats won by the Left Front in the last Lok Sabha elections, then the Left Front will also reconsider its decision with a positive outlook,” Basu said.
Earlier in the day, Congress MP and chairman of the Bengal Congress Coordination Committee Pradip Bhattacharya announced that the Congress for now will not field candidates in the Diamond Harbor, Asansol, Bolepur, Bishnupur and Tamluk Lok Sabha seats.
He also said that now it is up to the Left Front to take a call on the matter.
However, Bhattacharya ruled out any possibility of the Congress withdrawing its candidates in any of the 11 Lok Sabha seats which it had declared earlier.