Congress to ally with the Left for Bengal polls next year

In October, the CPM central committee had decided that it and the Left Front would have an electoral understanding with the Congress to contest against the ruling Trinamool Congress and the BJP in West Bengal

Adhir, Chowdhury, Congress
Chowdhury mocked Banerjee for "surrendering" before Sonia Gandhi through her letter seeking the support of opposition parties | File photo: PTI

The Congress has officially given the go-ahead to form an alliance with the Left Front in West Bengal to contest the 2021 Assembly elections, state party president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said on Thursday (December 24).

Pradesh Congress leaders had said at a meeting held in November that they were in favour of the alliance. However, the discussions to see it through were delayed due to the party’s poor performance in the 2020 Bihar elections.

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In October, the CPI(M) central committee had decided that it and the Left Front would have an electoral understanding with the Congress to contest against the ruling Trinamool Congress and the BJP in West Bengal.

In November, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, and some other state leaders, had an online meeting, in which, according to sources, they said they would begin seat-sharing talks with the Left Front after interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi gave the go-ahead.

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However, both the Left Front and the Congress have performed poorly in West Bengal. The Left Front didn’t win a single seat in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and the Congress won only two seats. In contrast, BJP won 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats while TMC won 22 seats.

In the 2016 West Bengal assembly elections, the Left Front and Congress alliance won 76 out of 294 seats.

The Congress, however, seems to be have a high concentration of voters in certain constituencies in north Bengal.

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