Two days after CPM leader Biman Bose said they will only invite Left Front parties to take part in the rallies and movement against the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal, the Congress, which has an electoral understanding with the communists in the state, said it will continue with its policy of “sharing and caring”.
“We will invite the Left Front to our programmes. We are different political parties and don’t decide on political programmes together,” said state Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.
“We had earlier said that the alliance is not just for the elections and that it will continue post-poll, and we stand by that. The party high command has not directed me to discontinue with the alliance,” he told The Indian Express on the sidelines of the press conference ahead of the meeting with MLAs and district Congress presidents. “Ever since we formed the alliance, there had been no controversial comment against it by any Congress leaders,” he added.
He lauded CPM state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra’s statement in favour of continuing with the alliance in the state. “It is a bold statement that he has made. I fully support it. I have no hesitation in admitting that the Congress has gained from this alliance and I believe we should continue with this political arrangement,” he said.
The Congress marginally gained from the alliance in the recently-held Assembly polls in the state while the Left Front came a poor third, losing the main Opposition status to its partner.
Mishra is understood to have told the CPM state committee that there was a need to continue with the alliance in the state in order to resist the undemocratic attack on opposition parties of Bengal. Mishra also told the committee meeting, which was attended by several top central leaders like all-India secretary Sitaram Yechury, Prakash Karat, M A Baby and others, that had the CPM not gone in favour of the alliance in the state, it would have won lesser number of seats than the present tally.
Several Left Front constituents had during a Front meeting on Friday criticised the leadership of its key partner CPM for “compromising” Left unity, alleging that it had forged an “opportunist political alliance” with Congress in West Bengal.
Meanwhile, Chowdhury said that he has written to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj requesting her to see to it that Judith D’ Souza, a Kolkata resident who was abducted in Kabul Thursday evening, was rescued and brought back from Afghanistan at the earliest. “I will also write to the President, the Prime Minister and the National Security Advisor. PM had recently visited Afghanistan and we will request the Centre to put pressure on the Afghan government to ensure Judith’s safe return. I will also write to the West Bengal government to put pressure on the central government in this regard,” he said.