Kolkata: Although the Lok Sabha polls may be a year away, but cracks have already begun to show within the West Bengal Congress. After the party’s unsuccessful tie-up with the Left in the Assembly elections two years ago, a section of state leaders, mainly MLAs and MPs, are now keen to have an alliance with the Trinamool Congress. They feel that such a tie-up is needed to counter the BJP, which has seen a dramatic rise in vote share.
A few of these Congress leaders have already reached out to the TMC to discover the potential for a pact and have contacted the social gathering excessive command with their proposal. The highest management is more likely to name its state leaders to Delhi subsequent week to debate the difficulty.
The newest transfer comes after The Indian Categorical reported on June 23 that the state unit, beneath its president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, has despatched a report back to the AICC proposing a 21-step strategy to defeat the “TMC-BJP nexus” within the state, together with an alliance with Left events and the opening of widespread workplaces.
But on Thursday, AICC secretary and Farakka MLA Mainul Haque and Malda Dakshin Lok Sabha MP Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury met TMC secretary general and Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee.
On Friday, Choudhury met UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and briefed her about the talks. Gandhi told him that the issue would be discussed once Congress president Rahul Gandhi returns from abroad, sources said.
Congress leaders said Haque and many Congress MLAs from Bengal have spoken to AICC general secretary Ashok Gehlot and senior leaders like Ambika Soni about the idea. “Of course, we all want the alliance, all the sitting MLAs and other leaders want the alliance.
It is up to the high command and Rahulji to take a decision. We will meet him once he is back,” Haque said.
Choudhury said he had told Chatterjee that the BJP is coming up in Bengal and the best way “combat it” was to fight it in an alliance. “He told it has to be discussed between Soniaji, Rahulji and the Chief Minister of West Bengal. Today, I came to Delhi and spoke to Sonia Gandhi about it. She said we will discuss about it once Rahulji returns,” he said.
However, state president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury made clear his opposition to a tie-up with TMC. “How can we have an alliance with the TMC which is trying to finish us in Bengal? Why would the TMC enter into an alliance with us? It is attacking us day in and day out. They want to eliminate us from Bengal,” he said.
Chowdhury said the Congress president wants the opposition to unite, but “such regional satraps are trying to finish us and playing the role of a Trojan horse.” He, however, said the ultimate decision on an alliance would be taken by the high command.
In a statement issued Friday, the party unit said: “AICC has not authorised any leader in West Bengal to start a dialogue with All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) for an alleged grand alliance. The party in West Bengal under the leadership of Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has not received any intimation from the AICC to start a dialogue with the AITC.
Whatever was done has been done purely in personal capacity. WBPCC has not initiated any such dialogue nor has it been advised to do so by the Congress president.”
The Congress and the TMC had fought the Lok Sabha elections of 2009 and the Assembly elections two years later in alliance, but parted ways in 2012.
In the last Assembly elections in 2016, the Congress had an unofficial pact with the Left and won 44 seats with a vote share of 12.25 per cent. It had polled 9.69 per cent votes in the 2014 elections winning four seats.