The state Congress says its local leadership and that of the Left have entered into an alliance for the elections to seven municipalities on May 14, and that seat sharing has been more or less completed. This assertion, made by PCC president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury Thursday, comes when the CPM central leadership has consistently been saying it is against any electoral understanding with the Congress.
Such an understanding as claimed by Adhir could also upset the TMC, which has been coordinating its parliamentary strategy with Congress of late.
“At the grassroots… an alliance has been forged between the Left parties and the Congress even without asking for any consent of the leadership, both in Delhi and Kolkata. It is out of desperation…,” Chowdhury admitted to The Indian Express.
The CPM’s central committee and Politburo met in Delhi earlier this week. The Congress and Left had an informal electoral pact in the Assembly elections. This was disapproved later by the CPM central leadership, with the politburo stating publicly “the electoral tactics evolved in West Bengal was not in consonance with the central committee decision based on the political-tactical line of the party” and arguing its state unit transgressed that line. Now, if an alliance has indeed taken shape, it would suggest the party’s central leadership has decided to look the other way as of now.
Asked whether the Congress or the CPM had approached each other for a united front against the ruling Trinamool and emerging BJP, Adhir said, “There is no need for any approaching. It is due to the desperation of the workers of both parties… They do not even require any consent.”
In most municipalities, barring Darjeeling, he said, “seat sharing has been done more or less”. In Darjeeling, he said, the Congress doesn’t have much of a presence.
Chowdhury admitted there was finger pointing after Assembly elections. Congress won 44 seats, the Left just 33. He said had Left and Congress managed to continue the alliance, it would have had a “salutary effect” on the common people. He said immediately after the elections, some Left leaders started saying it was because of the alliance that they “received this kind of electoral jolt”. The message conveyed to people because of that, he said, was not right.
He said the Left cannot score a big victory on its own in municipal polls, and that Congress never “rebuffed the alliance concept as was done by the CPM”.