Left in lurch, but CPM in no mood to form Bihar-like Grand Alliance in Bengal

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Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adheer Ranjan Chaudhary (File Photo, Image credit: Moneycontrol)
Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adheer Ranjan Chaudhary (File Photo, Image credit: Moneycontrol)

With Assembly election just six months away in Bengal the Congress party appears to be in no mood to join hands with the ruling Trinamool Congress. Immediately after the Bihar poll result on Nov 10 the general secretary of the CPI ML Dipankar Bhattacharya, whose party had contested election in alliance with the RJD and Congress, called for a united fight against the BJP in Bengal too. He asked the Congress, Left Front and TMC to form an alliance to stop the BJP in Bengal.

But the leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adheer Ranjan Chaudhary who is also the president of West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee rejected any such suggestion.

He told NDTV that his party had contested the last Assembly election in alliance with the Left Front, but there is no such possibility of the united Grand Alliance with TMC too a partner. The CPM leader, Sitaram Yechury, according to Chaudhary, had already said that the situation in Bihar and Bengal is not similar. 

Adheer, who still stands for the Left-Congress alliance said that his party leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are not opposed to any such partnership with the Communists.

However, Sitaram Yechury and another senior CPM leader Biman Bose are of the view that BJP is not a big force in Bengal and their priority would be to fight the Mamata Banerjee government first.

In 2016 the Left contested in over 200 seats with alliance partner Congress in 90-odd seats. But the Congress won 44 and the Left only 32.

Even last year while the Congress managed to win two Lok Sabha seats, including the one by Adheer, the Left drew blank. In fact, it managed to save its deposit in only one seat. Ever since taking over the state leadership Adheer is calling upon the old Congressmen to return to the party fold. 

This has raised a lot of speculation in political circles in Bengal, especially after the garlanding of Indira Gandhi’s statue on her birthday on November 19 by Subhendu Adhikary, a noted critic of Mamata, though a minister in her cabinet.

Earlier, it was expected that he may cross over to the BJP, but by his latest action he has given enough signal that he may join the Congress. He comes from East Midnapore district and shot into fame during the Nandigram movement.

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