Cong may seek TMC alliance

An Intelligence Bureau report hinting that the Congress would be decimated in West Bengal in the forthcoming general elections might have forced the party to seek out an alliance with the Trinamool Congress (TMC).

With behind-the-scene discussions, the two parties may soon declare an entente, sources said. The report indicated that while the TMC will tentatively win 30 seats, the Left is likely to get around eight seats, Congress two and one seat each for the BJP and SUCI.

The plight of the Congress has left the state leadership shocked. The party’s state unit, which was initially reluctant to shake hands with the TMC, has forwarded its concerns to the high command.

The leadership wants to know if traditional Congress electorates would vote for other parties, leading to a decrease in the number of MPs from the present six in West Bengal.
Sources said that despite stiff opposition from the state Congress, president Adhir Chowdhury and a number of top leaders in Bengal, including Ahmad Patel and Shakeel Ahmed, are in favour of an alliance with the TMC.

The high command has called Chowdhury to Delhi on Thursday and it is speculated that he will be asked to work towards a more amiable relation with the TMC.

Sources in the Congress pointed out that overtures have already been made and an alliance with the TMC is closer to reality. A senior leader said that even if a direct alliance is not forged immediately, the two parties might consider a seat-sharing arrangement.

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