West Bengal Pradesh Congress chief Somen Mitra on Saturday called for an alliance with the Left parties in the state to build up a viable alternative to the Trinamool Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Mitra was addressing a programme organised by the state Congress at its headquarters in Bidhan Bhavan to felicitate the two newly elected Congress Lok Sabha members from the state.
"People were seeking an alliance which could fight the misrule of the Trinamool government. After the collapse of the potential alliance between the Congress and the Left parties, people found the BJP an alternative force to the ruling party. If we (Congress and Left) develop an alternative platform, people will not disappoint us," Mitra said.
The Left and the Congress had formed an alliance ahead of the 2016 state Assembly polls, but the combine came a cropper at the hustings, as the Trianamool retained power.
The two parties tried to forge a seat-sharing adjustment in the run up to this year's Lok Sabha polls, but the talks failed.
The felicitation programme lost some of its shine as senior Congress leader and Lok Sabha member Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury skipped the event.
Chowdhury, who has won five back-to-back Lok Sabha battles from Baharampur in Murshidabad district, left for Delhi citing "personal reason" instead of attending the programme where Congress leaders stressed on strengthening its organisation.
The Congress fared poorly in the state in the recent Lok Sabha polls, managing only two seats -- half of its tally five years back.
"We had invited both the MPs from West Bengal. I spoke to Chowdhury personally, but he had to go to Delhi for an important personal reason. We had also invited Mohammad Jawed, the lone Congress MP from Bihar's Kishanganj. He too could not come as there were some issues in his constituency," Mitra said.
Incidentally, the Congress high command had in September last year appointed Mitra as the President of the party's West Bengal unit, replacing Chowdhury who was made the Chairman of the state unit's campaign committee.
"A weakened organisational strength and lack of public relation on the part of workers and leaders are the major reasons behind the party's dismal performance in the state. There is a need for a viable alternative platform to the Trinamool Congress and the BJP which can be developed independently or with our allies," Mitra said.
Mitra also called a meeting of the state working committee on June 15 to chalk out a road map for the party.
Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury, who was felicitated by the state leaders, also called for strengthening the party's connect with the local people.
The state leaders also felicitated the AICC observer for West Bengal, Gaurav Gogoi, who has been elected for a second term from the Kaliabor Lok Sabha constituency in Assam.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)