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Friday, December 03, 2021

Biman Bose drops civic poll hint; Left mulling over continuing Congress tie-up

Bose told reporters on the sidelines of an event that the Left Front would meet next week to discuss the possibility of extending the alliance for the civic polls.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
November 8, 2021 6:07:53 am
Biman Bose, Left front, CPI(M), Kolkata, Howrah, Civic elections, Santipur, West Bengal, Indian Express newsLeft Front chairman Biman Bose and RSP leader Manoj Bhattacharya at an event in Kolkata to mark the ‘November Revolution’, on Sunday. (Express Photo)

Left Front Chairperson Biman Bose on Sunday hinted at another round of electoral alliance with the Congress for the upcoming civic elections, and said detailed internal discussions would be held next week. Bose’s comments came days after sources in the CPI(M), the largest Left Front constituent, said that the party’s gains in the Santipur by-poll had sparked an internal debate about the alliance with the grand old party.

Bose told reporters on the sidelines of an event here that the Left Front would meet next week to discuss the possibility of continuing the alliance for the civic polls.

“A primary discussion has been held on this [selection of party candidates for civic polls]. Later, we will sit with Left Front constituents for a detailed discussion. Previously, when elections were announced, 90 to 95 per cent agreement was reached [on alliance with the Congress]. Now we have to hold further talks on this.”

In response to the veteran CPI(M) leader’s comments, Congress MP Pradip Bhattacharya said, “As civic polls and panchayat polls are local-level elections, electoral understanding also takes place in the local level. So it is wise to leave this decision to local level leaders to take a call on this. Our leaders will hold talks with the Left or any independent parties in this regard. We have no problem if they want to forge an understanding with us.”

The West Bengal State Election Commission (WBSEC) is contemplating holding civic polls to Kolkata Municipal Corporation and Howrah Municipal Corporation in the second half of December.

The Left and the Congress contested the Assembly polls earlier this year in an alliance. However, both failed to win a single seat, down from the 76 they had bagged in 2016. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, both the parties contested the election on their own and without any electoral understanding.

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