Left Front says unjustified demands by Congress responsible for failed alliance talks

By: | Updated: March 18, 2019 3:30 PM

According to the Left Front's seat-sharing formula, CPI(M) would contest in 22 seats, the CPI and AIFB three each and the RSP two, with the remaining 12 to be left to the Congress.

Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy, CPI General Secretary, Left Front, West Bengal, lok sabha polls 2019, west bengal lok sabha seatsCPI General Secretary Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy Monday. (IE)

CPI General Secretary Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy Monday said the Left Front cannot accept Congress’ “unjustified” demand on seat-sharing issue in West Bengal, and it now looks like that the two would fight the Lok Sabha polls in the state separately. He termed as “unexpected” the West Bengal unit of the Congress calling off on Sunday seat-sharing talks with the CPI(M)-led Left Front for the Lok Sabha polls. West Bengal has 42 Lok Sabha seats. “They (Congress) were asking 17 seats. Left Front offered them 12 seats. They are asking for five more seats which are Left front seats… (it is) unjustified. In some of these seats they got two to three per cent votes (in the previous elections),” Reddy told PTI here.

He said in Basirhat Lok Sabha seat of West Bengal, CPI got four lakh votes in the previous elections, and the Congress one lakh votes. “But still they demand that the seat should be given to them. This type of demands cannot be accepted by the Left Front. They are asking for one All India Forward Bloc seat, and three CPI(M) seats. So, it will be very complicated,” Reddy said. Now, it looks like the Left Front and the Congress would fight the elections in West Bengal separately, the veteran communist leader said.

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 According to the Left Front’s seat-sharing formula, CPI(M) would contest in 22 seats, the CPI and AIFB three each and the RSP two, with the remaining 12 to be left to the Congress. With the Congress deciding to go solo, the Left front is meeting Monday to decide how to distribute the 42 seats among the partners, Reddy said. The West Bengal unit of the Congress on Sunday called off seat-sharing talks with the CPI(M)-led Left Front for Lok Sabha polls, after weeks of hectic parleys failed to resolve the impasse over distribution of seats.

“It has been decided by our party unit that we don’t want any adjustment or alliance by compromising our dignity. The Left can’t dictate us on who will be candidate and who won’t. We will fight alone in Bengal,” state Congress chief Somen Mitra said in Kolkata after closed-door party meet on Sunday evening. The Congress’ decision on Sunday paved the way for a four-cornered contest in Bengal involving the Trinamool Congress, the BJP, the Left Front and the Congress.

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