Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi has given her nod to the alliance between Congress and Left for the upcoming Assembly bypolls in West Bengal. According to state Congress leaders, the nod came after Bengal party chief Somen Mitra met with Sonia on Friday.
In the Lok Sabha polls, the Congress-Left alliance did not take shape and both the parties performed poorly. While Left Front failed to get a single seat and its vote share dipped sharply, Congress only won two seats.
“During our discussion, we informed her about the seat adjustment we are having in the state before the bypolls. Sonia gave us her nod and said if the Left Front agrees, we should go for an alliance,” said Mitra.
“Our state president informed Soniaji that the bypolls will be held in three seats — Karimpur in Nadia district, Kharagpur in West Midnapore district and Kaliaganj in Uttar Dinajpur district. It is proposed that Congress will field candidate in Kharagpur and Kaliaganj seats, while Left will be allowed to contest in Karimpur,” said a senior Congress leader.
The Kaliaganj seat fell vacant after the death of sitting Congress MLA Parmathanath Roy, while the election to the Kharagpur seat is being held as its MLA Dilip Ghosh, the state BJP chief, has contested and won the Medinipur Lok Sabha constituency. Karimpur MLA Mahua Moitra of TMC had won the Krishnnanagar Lok Sabha seat.
Despite TMC and Congress expressing solidarity for each other in various issues at the Centre, since the last few years, state Congress has been looking for an alliance in Bengal with the Left. State Congress leaders and Left leaders have a strategy of confronting both TMC and BJP in Bengal.
“We are happy that despite TMC being close to Congress in Delhi, our high command has understood our strategy in Bengal. Our high command has supported our stand, which is against both TMC and BJP in the state,” said a senior Congress leader.
In this Lok Sabha polls, BJP has emerged as the prime Opposition in Bengal bagging 18 seats, while TMC secured 22 seats.