You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

Congress not likely to field candidates in Bengal by-polls

Press Trust of India  |  Kolkata 

Hinting at an unofficial alliance between his party and the CPI(M) in the upcoming and Assembly by-polls in West Bengal, state chief Adhir Chowdhury today said his party was yet to decide whether to contest the polls but would ensure that the division of the anti-TMC and anti-votes did not happen.

"We are yet to decide whether to contest the polls. Let the dates be announced, but we have not finalised anything yet. We will ensure that the TMC and the do not get the benefit of division of opposition votes," he told reporters.

By-elections will be held in the Cooch Behar and Tamluk seats and in the Monteswar Assembly constituency.

At Cooch Behar, the by-poll was necessitated by the death of TMC MP Renuka Sinha. The by-poll to the Tamluk seat was necessitated by TMC MP Suvendu Adhikari's win from the Nandigram Assembly seat. Adhikari had resigned as an MP before he joined the

The by-poll in the Monteswar Assembly seat was occasioned by the death of MLA Sajal Panja.

Left Front chairman Biman Bose had last week said that CPI(M)'s ally Forward Bloc would field a candidate in the Cooch Behar Lok Sabha seat and the CPI(M) would field its candidates in Tamluk Lok Sabha seat and Monteswar Assembly constituency.

He had also made it clear that there had been no discussion about an alliance with the and the Left Front would contest "on its own".

According to sources, the party leadership is against contesting the polls as it would help the TMC win the seats by ensuring a division of votes.

Commenting on Chowdhury's statement, a senior CPI(M) leader said, "We welcome it. It is not possible to forge an official alliance, so if the Congress decides to back out, it will help us."

The CPI(M)-led Left Front had forged an alliance with the Congress in in the last polls.

The decision to forge an alliance with ideologically opposite Congress had raked up an inner-party debate within the CPI(M). Later, it was decided that the party would not go for an official alliance with the Congress but would continue to organise agitations and protest rallies together against the TMC and the in the state.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, October 17 2016. 17:14 IST