The Left Front is not keen on leaving too many seats for its alliance partner Congress apart from the 92 seats that have already been given to the grand old party for the upcoming West Bengal Assembly elections, an issue which came up in a recent meeting of the constituents of the Front, according to sources.
Of the 294 seats of the state, the Left has been allotted 101 seats, leaving 101 seats unclaimed as yet.
Left Front sources said that reason behind such an attitude of the CPI(M) leadership was pressure by other constituents such Forward Bloc, Revolutionary Socialist Party and Communist Party of India to ensure that they get adequate seats in their erstwhile strongholds in the districts of Jalpaiguri, Murshidabad, Malda, Alipurduar, Purulia.
“The Left Front allies urged the CPI(M) to negotiate with the Congress in this regard,” said a senior CPI(M) leader.
Insiders said that the Front leaders are unwilling to leave too many seats because seats had to be given to allies outside the Front such as the Indian Secular Front (ISF) floated by influential minority community leader Abbas Siddiqui.
Seats had to be left for the ISF from both the Left Front and the Congress. However, Congress sources said that the party had to be given an adequate number of seats to be able to leave some for the ISF.
“Obviously we will not demand an absurd number of seats. But we also need to have an adequate number of seats to able to leave seats to the ISF,” said a senior State Congress leader. Both the Left Front and Congress agree that Siddiqui might play a key role in the fight against the BJP by drawing the support of the Muslim and Dalit communities.
Since the Left Front was keen on bringing NCP Chief Sharad Pawar and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav along with Rahul Gandhi, it also had to leave seats for the two parties.