Updated: February 1, 2021 1:23:41 am
Senior Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leaders Abdul Bari Siddiqui and Shyam Rajak are in Kolkata to explore the possibility of contesting the upcoming state elections and find ways to stop the BJP’s expansion. The party on Sunday said it was in talks with the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the CPI(M). It is looking to contest some seats on the Bengal-Bihar border and the Bijpur Assembly seat in North 24 Parganas district, where Hindi is the primary language for a huge chunk of the electorate.
Siddiqui, the RJD’s principal general secretary, told The Indian Express, “Our party leaders have sent us here to explore the possibilities of contesting the election. We are holding talks with parties, including the TMC and the CPI(M). Nothing has been finalised yet. Based on our findings, our top leadership will take a decision on whether to contest polls or give support to others. Tomorrow, we could hold talks with some TMC leaders in this regard.”
TMC chairperson Mamata Banerjee shares a cordial relation with RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav. However, the RJD was in alliance with the CPI(M) and other Left parties in last year’s Bihar Assembly polls.
Sources said the RJD wants to contest about 50 seats in Bengal. It is learnt that the TMC is willing to leave only two seats to the RJD. “Our primary objective is to stop the communal BJP from expanding its base in the state. We want to strengthen the secular forces. Therefore, we will also hold talks with the CPM,” Siddiqui said. The RJD had an MLA in the state Assembly between 2006 and 2011.
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