Even as the Left and the Congress continued to show their “unity” through joint protest rallies against alleged post-poll violence by the Trinamool Congress, Front chairman Biman Bose sought to distance himself from the Congress move where the party MLAs in West Bengal were reportedly made to sign an undertaking “swearing unqualified allegiance” to party chief Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi.
Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Bose said the Congress tactic of making MLAs sign such an undertaking to check defection might work for them, but not necessarily for the Left.
“It was the decision of the Congress to do what they deemed fit. I am not supposed to comment on that,” Bose said. “According to our formula, we will find out a way to arrest the possibility of defection to the ruling party. There will be discussion on the issue in further meetings within the party,” he added
The Left Front chairman reiterated that since the Mamata-led party came to power with a convincing mandate, attack on Opposition parties have increased. “About 550 party offices of different political parties across the state have been razed or taken over. Other party supporters have been beaten up and rendered homeless. Many have been allowed to remain at their place against a monetary penalty. Residences of two candidates have been attacked,” Bose claimed.
“We will put up demonstration programmes at the district level and if need be, we would go to Delhi and put up demonstrations and fight till democracy is reinstated,” he added.
Bose also confirmed that Left would not be attending Mamata Banerjee’s swearing-in ceremony at Red Road on Friday.
Adhir, Mishra share stage
Meanwhile, showcasing the strength of the Left-Congress alliance, CPM state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra and state Congress president Adhir Chowdhury shared platform during a protest programme against alleged violence unleashed by TMC, at Y Channel in Esplanade.
“It will be a political battle between two alliances. One, between Didi (Mamata Banerjee) and Modi (Narendra Modi) and other of the Congress and Left Front,” Chowdhury said.
The Congress leader alleged that the BJP had made inroads within Bengal with the help of the Trinamool in the recently held Assembly elections by transferring votes to each other. “Going by the Lok Sabha election in 2014, the BJP were ahead in 24 Assembly seats and now, after sacrificing a major vote share for Mamata Banerjee, they have managed to secure three seats,” Chowdhury said.
Mishra, too, alleged a tacit understanding between the TMC and the BJP during Assembly polls. “BJP won at Kharagpur because about 7,000 votes from TMC had been transferred to BJP, while it worked the other way round at Bhawanipur, bringing down BJP’s lead and increasing Mamata’s vote share,” he claimed.
Referring to Mamata’s statement of providing issue-based support to the Centre, Chowdhury said it was “a clear sign of the growing bonhomie between the two”.
Crediting the alliance behind the “successful rally put up today” , Mishra said the tie up with Congress would continue in the future.