Murshidabad: Where Cong-Left alliance didn’t work — or worked to help TMC win

Trinamool Congress’ performance in Murshidabad district — traditionally a Congress stronghold — is one more reason for the party to celebrate its landslide victory in the state Assembly polls.

Written by Arshad Ali | Kolkata | Updated: May 22, 2016 12:25 am
TMC supporters in Kolkata after win on Thursday. Express photo by Subham Dutta. 19.05.16 TMC supporters in Kolkata after win on Thursday. Express photo by Subham Dutta.

Trinamool Congress’ performance in Murshidabad district — traditionally a Congress stronghold — is one more reason for the party to celebrate its landslide victory in the state Assembly polls.

In the 2011 Assembly polls, Trinamool, then in alliance with Congress, had bagged 15 out of the 22 seats in the district. Among the 15, Trinamool could win only one constituency, Sagardighi, on its own. The remaining seven seats in Murshidabad had gone to Left Front.

But this time, Trinamool not only managed to retain Sagardighi, it also won three more seats — Samserganj, Hariharpara and Jangipur.

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After the poll results were declared on Thursday, both Congress and CPM, now in an alliance, have been quick to blame each other for the upset in the district.

State Congress president Adhir Chowdhury admitted that principles of an alliance were not adhered to.

“In Murshidabad, there were several seats where we fought against each other instead of fighting together,” he said.

While as part of the Left-Congress electoral understanding, it was decided that in the 21 seats that Congress and CPM had won between themselves in the 2011 polls both would nominate candidates in the constituencies that they had each won, in many seats, both parties put up candidates against each other.

For instance, in Sagardighi, Congress’ Aminul Islam and CPM’s Rajab Ali Mullick contested against Trinamool’s sitting MLA Subrata Saha.

In Samserganj, from where CPM nominated its sitting MLA Touab Ali, Trinamool won despite Congress not putting up a candidate. “Congress voters are emotional. I had told the CPM to leave the seat to us but they didn’t pay heed. The voters had been victims of CPM atrocities for decades and cannot change their mindset overnight. Just before the polls, the Congress block president in the area defected to Trinamool,” Chowdhury said.

At Hariharpara, too, in spite of sitting CPM MLA Insar Ali Biswas in fray, Congress nominated Alamgir Mir and Trinamool won.

When contacted, Biswas said: It’s sad that the rules of the alliance were not followed. If Congress had not been adamant, we would have won (Hariharpara).” Chowdhury, however, blamed the defeat on the lack of organisational strength of CPM. “Our vote share has increased in Hariharpara. It is CPM’s weakness that made the difference. I had forewarned them about this,” he said.

Mohammed Sohrab, outgoing Congress MLA who lost to Trinamool in Jangipur, said: “It is due to the adamant attitude of both parties that I lost. There was no alliance here at all. I had told this to Chowdhury and even to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi but no one got back with a solution.”

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