No Mutual Contest In LS Seats Held By Left & Congress: CPI-M

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Kolkata: Amid the impasse over seat sharing between the Left and the Congress in West Bengal ahead of general elections, CPI-M state Secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra on Friday said the party’s central and state units are firm on not having “any mutual contest” in the six Lok Sabha seats held by the two parties.

“We have said well in advance that we do not want any mutual contest in the six Lok Sabha seats which the Left and the Congress hold in the state. It is the decision of our party’s central committee as well as the state committee,” Mishra said.

“We never formed a coalition with the Congress in the past and will not do so in the future. During the 2016 Assembly elections, we went for a seat sharing formula in a few seats so that the votes do not get divided. However, there were disputes at that time,” he added.

Out of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal, the Congress won four in 2014 — Berhampore, Jangipur, Malda south and Malda north — while the CPI-M emerged victorious in two seats — Raigunj and Murshidabad, both of which were previously held by the Congress.

In spite of losing the two seats to the Left by narrow margins last time, the Congress wants to field its candidates from these constituencies as they are considered Congress bastions.