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After cracks, Congress ready to spare 8 seats for ISF in south Bengal

Congress's Lok Sabha leader and party state president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had earlier said the party would not part with its seats with new members of the alliance.

Rana’s wife and two sisters-in-law were arrested earlier on charges of keeping the kidnapped person in confinement.

After days of acrimony, the Congress and the Pirzada Abbas Siddiqui-led Indian Secular Front (ISF) on Wednesday partially ironed out their differences. According to leaders from both parties, the Congress has decided to spare eight seats for the ISF in south Bengal while the seat-sharing negotiation in north Bengal is underway. This means the Congress’s seat share as part of its alliance with the Left Front has dropped to 84.

A Congress leader said the statewide deal with the ISF would be announced in one-two days after clearing the air on three-four seats in north Bengal.

The Left Front has already left 30 seats for the ISF, which is also insisting on fighting from the high-profile Nandigram seat.

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Congress’s Lok Sabha leader and party state president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had earlier said the party would not part with its seats with new members of the alliance.

Responding to criticism by a section of Congress leaders against its alliance with the ISF, Chowdhury on Wednesday said these critics “have already extracted their own pound of flesh”.

Cracks between the Congress and Siddiqui, an influential cleric of Furfura Sharif in Hooghly, came out in the open when he addressed a rally at the Brigade Parade Ground on February 28 and accused the Congress of dragging its feet on the seat-sharing agreement.

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