The Congress and the Left Front on Monday held joint rallies across the state to protest against the recent rise in petrol and diesel prices, fuelling speculation about an alliance for the 2021 Assembly elections.
Among other places, the protests were held in Kolkata, Berhampore, Salt Lake, and Kharagpur. At one such rally, Congress Lok Sabha leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, “People are already suffering from the lockdown due to Covid-19 outbreak. The rising fuel prices is adding insult to their injury. Petroleum product prices are increasing every day. The people are finding it very difficult to make ends meet since rising fuel prices are increasing the cost of food and essential items.”
In Kolkata, the rally was held in front of a statue of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar on Red Road. Left Front chairperson Biman Bose, CPI(M) Politburo member Mohammad Salim, and other Left and Congress leaders participated in the meeting.
“The Centre is trying to divert people’s attention from real issues. The rising fuel price is affecting the lives of common man while the Central government is far from addressing the issue. Today, both parties have jointly come out to protest against this,” said Biman Bose.
The Left Front and the Congress had contested the 2016 Assembly elections on an electoral understanding. However, in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, both parties fought on their own. While the Congress won two seats, the CPI(M), which is the largest constituent of the Left Front, drew a blank.
According to sources, the Congress and Left are working on an alliance to counter both the ruling TMC and the BJP, which are the two major political forces in the state.
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