THE West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee will meet party vice-president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on Monday, where a decision on forming an alliance before the upcoming Assembly elections in Bengal is likely to be taken.
Before leaving for Delhi, state Congress president Adhir Chowdhury on Sunday dismissed reports that Rahul was keen on an alliance with the ruling Trinamool Congress and claimed that the party wants to join hands with the CPM. “As long as I sit on the chair of the state Congress president, there will be no alliance with the TMC,” Chowdhury told The Indian Express.
Asked if the party’s central leadership will forge an alliance with the TMC, Chowdhury said, “I don’t think there will be any such instructions. We will apprise them of the ground reality and tell them that people here wanted the Congress to team up with the CPM. The priority is to oust the TMC government which is the immediate threat.”
Besides Chowdhury, other leaders from the state who would attend Monday’s meeting with Rahul and Congress general secretary and in-charge of West Bengal C P Joshi are Abdul Mannan, Pradeep Bhattacharya, Manas Bhuniya, Deepa Dasmunshi, Somen Mitra, and Om Prakash Mishra. They are scheduled to assemble at Bhattacharya’s Delhi residence on Sunday night to discuss the issues related to the meeting.
Most leaders believe that the meeting will see a consensus in favour of a Congress-CPM alliance in the state. “I have already told that in the interest of the state there should be an alliance with the Left and I am going to stand by my point. I will be of the same opinion at the meeting tonight as well. There had been some very positive feelers so far,” Mishra said.
Mitra, too, said the party was ready for an alliance with the CPM. “I believe there is a need for an anti-TMC, secular adjustment or alliance among parties. If CPM wants to come within the fold, I don’t see any complication,” he said.
Echoing similar views, Mannan said, “I believe an alliance is inevitable to save the state from the misrule of TMC and for restoration of democracy.”
Bhuniya, who had earlier said the party should contest the elections alone, left it to the Congress high command to take the decision in this regard. “It will be the decision and direction of (Congress president) Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and we, as loyal Congress workers, will abide by the decisions taken centrally,” Bhuniya said.