Mamata wants to restrict Cong to 6 seats

A day after announcing their tie-up for the Lok Sabha polls,both the Congress and the Trinamool Congress were busy trying to wrest as many seats as possible from each other.....

Written by Ravik Bhattacharya | Kolkata | Published:March 3, 2009 2:22 am

A day after announcing their tie-up for the Lok Sabha polls,both the Congress and the Trinamool Congress were busy trying to wrest as many seats as possible from each other.

While Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee wanted the Congress to confine itself to the six Lok Sabha seats it had won in 2004,the latter was only willing to forgo the eight Lok Sabha seats Trinamool had won during the 1999 Lok Sabha polls. These eight seats were Barasat,Calcutta North-West,Calcutta North-East,Calcutta South,Serampore,Contai,Jadavpur,and Nabadwip.

However,after delimitation,some of these constituencies,including Mamata’s Calcutta South seat,have been renamed and reorganised.

Two seats in Kolkata — Calcutta North-West and Calcutta North East — don’t exist after the delimitation and in lieu of that,the Trinamool

is likely to demand two more seats this time.

The Trinamool has also demanded that the party be allowed to fight for 19 Lok Sabha seats where it had finished second during the 2004 Lok Sabha polls. These seats were Barasat,Basirhat,Mathurapur,Diamond Harbour,Jadavpur,Barrackpore,Howrah,Uluberia,Serampore,Hooghly,Panskura,Tamluk,Contai,Jhargram,Bankura,Bishnupur,Asansol,Katwa (does not exist after delimitation) and Bolpur.

Mamata had raised the seat-sharing issue during her meeting with West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee president Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday night. The Congress,on the other hand,had pointed out 15 Lok Sabha seats where the Trinamool had failed to perform during the 2004 Lok Sabha elections and urged her to give at least eight of those seats. In fact,the Congress expected Mamata to offer them 14 seats,including the six that the Congress had won in 2004.

“If Mamata could give 17 seats to the BJP in 2004,she should give us at least 14,” said a senior Congress leader from Delhi.

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