Kolkata: In a bid to stop the march of BJP and TMC in Bengal, the beleaguered Congress and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM, once sworn enemies in the state, have come together for a seat adjustment for upcoming bypolls in three assembly segments of the state.
During a late-evening meeting, the state leadership of the two parties decided that the Congress would contest Kaliaganj seat in North Dinajpur district and Kharagpur in West Midnapore district. The CPI(M)-led Left Front would contest Karimpur Assembly seat in Nadia district.
“Today it has been finalised that Congress would contest on two seats and CPM would contest on one seat. The Congress-CPM alliance would bring in a new dawn in Bengal politics. We together would defeat the communal politics of BJP and TMC,” West Bengal Congress president Somen Mitra said. The CPM leadership, however, called it a “seat adjustment”. It was hopeful of halting the march of BJP in the state.
CPM and Congress had come together for 2016 Assembly polls but failed to oust the ruling Trinamool Congress. In 2019, CPM and Congress had failed to seal an alliance after both the parties failed to agree over the seat-sharing formula.
Congress and CPM have come together in the backdrop of their dismal performance in Lok Sabha polls, where Congress won just two seats and lost deposits on 38 constituencies.
The CPM-led Left Front failed to open its account and lost deposit in 39 seats.
The CPM and Congress consider the BJP an ideological pariah. The Trinamool believes both the Congress and CPM are spent forces and, therefore, does not want to spare seats for them, which makes a Trinamool-Congress-CPM alliance untenable.
The BJP won 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state in thae Lok Sabha election, only four behind Trinamool’s 22 seats.
The BJP has asserted its next target is to unseat the Trinamool from Bengal in 2021. But the Trinamool has taken several measures since the general election to turn the tide in its favour.
The Kaliaganj seat fell vacant after the death of sitting Congress MLA Parmathanath Roy.
The Kharagpur seat fell vacant after the sitting BJP MLA Dilip Ghosh won parliamentary polls from Midnapore Lok Sabha seat.
Trinamool’s sitting MLA from Karimpur Mahua Moitra had won Lok Sabha polls from Krishnnanagar seat.