Cong may not contest in Raiganj & Murshidabad LS seats

Cong may not contest in Raiganj & Murshidabad LS seats

Congress president Rahul Gandhi. PTI file photo.

The disagreement over the Raiganj and Murshidabad Lok Sabha seats which was plaguing the prospective Left-Congress alliance in West Bengal seems to have been resolved.

Speaking to DH a senior state Congress leader said that party president Rahul Gandhi has asked the Bengal Congress leadership not to field candidates in the two seats.

“ Rahul Gandhi has asked the state leadership not to field candidates in Raiganj and Murshidabad Lok Sabha seats. So with his intervention, the objection of the state leadership in this regard has become irrelevant,” said the state Congress leader.

He also said that the Congress president is yet to formally convey his decision to the state leadership. However, Congress sources revealed that now it has become more or less clear to the state leadership that they have no choice but to leave the two seats to the CPM-led Left Front.

Congress sources further revealed that the party is likely to contest 17 to 18 seats in West Bengal and leave the rest to the Left Front. West Bengal has 42 Lok Sabha seats.

When contacted state Congress president Somen Mitra refused to comment on the matter.

The development comes a day after the Left Front suddenly declared candidates for the Raiganj and Murshidabad seats. Left Front chairperson Biman Basu also indicated that if Congress fields candidates in the two seats won by CPM in the last Lok Sabha elections, Left Front will also field candidates in the four seats won by Congress last time in Bengal. Congress won in Malda North, Malda South, Baharampur and Jangipur Lok Sabha seats in 2014.

Earlier the CPM leadership made it clear that they will not leave the Raiganj and Murshidabad seats to Congress. However, state Congress leadership was keen on fielding candidates in the two seats.

State Congress leaders argued while in the last Lok Sabha elections the Congress candidate from Raiganj lost by a thin margin to CPM and Congress has a strong organisation in the Murshidabad constituency. CPM’s Md Salim defeated Congress candidate Deepa Dasmunsi by a margin of only 1634 votes in the last Lok Sabha elections.

As for Murshidabad CPM candidate Badaruddoza Khan defeated Congress’ Abdul Mannan Hossain by a margin of 18,453 votes.