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  1. With eyes on 2019 Lok Sabha and 2021 Assembly polls, West Bengal Congress pushes for non-TMC, non-BJP front in state

With eyes on 2019 Lok Sabha and 2021 Assembly polls, West Bengal Congress pushes for non-TMC, non-BJP front in state

Congress party is not a strong player in Trinamool Congress-ruled West Bengal for decades. The party has been pushed further into the margins with the continuous rise of the TMC in last one decade and BJP in the recent time.

By: | New Delhi | Published: June 23, 2018 11:38 AM
Congress, Left parties, West bengal, Left Front, Bharatiya Janata Party, mamata banerjee, Trinamool Congress, TMC With eyes on 2019 Lok Sabha and 2021 Assembly polls, West Bengal Congress pushes for non-TMC, non-BJP front in state

The Congress party’s West Bengal unit has proposed to forge an alliance with the Left parties to defeat the ‘nexus’ between Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress and the BJP in the state. According to a report in The Indian Express, the state unit has sent a 21-step approach to the central leadership which proposes an alliance with the Left parties for the both 2019 Lok Sabha and 2021 Assembly elections.

OP Mishra, Bengal Congress general secretary, told the daily that the main agenda is not just next year’s Lok Sabha polls, but also to draw a long-term plan to defeat the TMC in 2021 assembly polls and come to power.

“The main thrust of the report is to not only look at the 2019 Lok Sabha elections but draw a long-term plan to see how we can make a recovery in the 2021 assembly elections, defeat the TMC and come to power,” Mishra said. “We are not averse to forming a coalition government with the CPM in the state,” the report quoted him as saying.

Mishra added that the report was dispatched to New Delhi on June 13 and that the state leaders are awaiting a response.

The 21-step approach proposes setting up ‘central office points’ in Kolkata, Asansol, Behrampore and Siliguri for the political front. Besides, developing a strong 50,000 volunteer force of non-TMC and non-BJP parties, it also talks about launching a dedicated website, Facebook page and Twitter handle for the front.

It said that the political front should become operational at least by October this year.

Misha has also proposed that at the state and central leadership level of the parties, the bigwigs should hold deliberations to draw a common agenda. He said that direct links should also be established between the leadership of the parties and trade unions, farmer organisations, student bodies as well as those of professionals such as doctors and teachers.

He said that details of each volunteer should be maintained in a centralised manner in order to make it accessible to all parties. He said that ‘work/activity’’ will be given to each volunteer on the continuous basis. The 21-step approach said that works like pamphlet and literature distribution, collection of resources and visiting victims of human rights violations, police excesses and those accused of false cases should be assigned to the volunteers to instil a sense of confidence in the public.

The alliance, Mishra said, will expose all ‘political and false police cases since 2011’ – the year TMC won the elections ending the Left Front’s 34-year-rule. He also proposed providing ‘dedicated financial resources for the legal and medical expenses of all victims of TMC’s physical attacks’.

On prospects of Congress and TMC contesting 2019 Lok Sabha polls together, Mishra said that there is a ‘tacit’ understanding between the TMC and BJP and that an alliance between the Congress and the TMC for is not desirable. He claimed that the TMC’s main objective is to win elections at any cost and that to shield its leaders from being probed in corruption cases, it has ‘compromised with the political interests of BJP’.

“A TMC-Congress-Left tie-up. This is problematic and has the potential to produce the opposite of the result anticipated. Such a formulation may even serve the BJP and may amount to ceding the Opposition space to BJP,” the IE report quoted him as saying.

Last month, West Bengal Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s had said that his party was intended to unite all non-TMC, non-BJP parties in the state. According to him, the consensus was reached after a meeting with all Congress MLAs and district leaders, and Mishra was asked to draw up a plan of action for the same.

The Congress party is not a strong player in the Trinamool Congress-ruled state for decades. The party has been pushed further into the margins with the continuous rise of the TMC in last one decade and BJP in the recent time. Mamata Banerjee who is sitting at the helm of the state affairs since May 2011, continues to dominate the state politics and her party is far ahead of anyone.

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