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Bengal: Deadlock over Left-Congress-ISF alliance continues as Adhir refuses to concede bastion Left-Cong-ISF
Image Credit: Adhir Chowdhury Twitter

Bengal: Deadlock over Left-Congress-ISF alliance continues as Adhir refuses to concede bastion

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 02 Mar 2021, 11:59 am

Kolkata/IBNS: The deadlock over the alliance between the Left, Congress and Furfura Sharif cleric Abbas Siddiqui's Indian Secular Front (ISF), termed as United Front, has failed to get resolved even as the talks to finalise the seat-sharing deal is on.

After a meeting with the top Left leaders Monday, West Bengal Congress president Adhir Chowdhury said his party would contest in at least 92 seats.

"As of now, we have secured 92 seats," said Chowdhury.

The stalemate was created after Abbas demanded seats from the Congress' kitty and more so from Chowdhury's bastion, heavily minority-dominated Malda and Murshidabad.

On the question of yielding the bastion seats to the ISF, Chowdhury Monday said, "We had agreed upon a formula that we would candidates on winnings seats."

Countering Chowdhury's logic, Abbas on a television debate said, "They (Congress) had won. But how can they claim the seats when all their elected MLAs jumped to the Trinamool Congress!"

The alliance, which initially had started between Left and Congress, got a new entrant in the form of ISF very recently after Abbas was given 30 seats from the Communist party's share.

But the cracks within the alliance were palpable during the Left's Feb 28 Brigade rally where Chowdhury and Abbas were caught in an awkward moment.

"I thank the Left leaders for giving us 30 seats to contest in the upcoming assembly elections. Wherever Left puts up candidates, we will guard our motherland with our blood... People may ask why I am not saying the same things for Congress. This is because we have come here to get our due and not to appease," Abbas said Sunday in a strong message to Congress.

Causing more embarrassment to the Congress, its senior leader Anand Sharma Monday opposed his party's alliance with the ISF citing ideology.

Sharma tweeted, "Congress’ alliance with parties like ISF and other such forces militates against the core ideology of the party and Gandhian and Nehruvian secularism, which forms the soul of the party. These issues need to be approved by the CWC."

He added, " Congress cannot be selective in fighting communalists but must do so in all its manifestations, irrespective of religion and colour. The presence and endorsement of the West Bengal PCC President is painful and shameful, he must clarify."

Hitting back at Sharma, Chowdhury tweeted, "CPI(M) led Left Front is leading the secular alliance in West Bengal of which Congress is an integral part. We are determined to defeat BJP's communal & divisive politics and an autocratic regime."

"@INCIndia has got its full share of seats. Left Front is allocating seats from its share to the newly formed Indian Secular Front-ISF. Ur choice to call the decision of CPM led front ‘communal’ is only serving the polarising agenda of BJP."

"Those who are committed to fight against #BJP parties venomous communalism should support the Congress & campaign for the party in five states rather than attempting to undermine the party by remarks in tune with BJP’s agenda."

"Would urge a select group of distinguished Congressmen to rise above always seeking personal comfort spots & stop wasting time singing praises of PM. They owe a duty to strengthen the Party & not undermine the tree that nurtured them."

Both the ruling Trinamool Congress and its prime challenger Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have slammed the Left in the same line accusing it of playing communal politics in the state.

West Bengal Minister and Trinamool veteran Subrata Mukherjee said, "We had always believed that Left and Congress do not play caste politics, irrespective of our political rivalry.

“But yesterday they have nakedly joined the BJP in playing caste politics.”

BJP spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya said, "We will fight against this Bhaijaan politics. This is not about politics for us. This fight is beyond politics to save West Bengal."

As many analysts are claiming the Left-Congress-ISF alliance may hurt the Trinamool's minority vote bank, a BJP leader told India Blooms, "If some votes (minority votes) go here and there, the BJP may get benefited. But let's see how far things go."