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Cong gives ultimatum to CPI(M) to take a call on seat sharing

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Press Trust of India Kolkata
Miffed with CPI(M), the West Bengal Congress Wednesday said there will be no seat sharing with the CPI(M) by compromising party's dignity and gave an ultimatum to the Left Front to take a call on the tie-up by this Sunday.
The Congress convened a meeting of its state election committee, which was chaired by Congress in-charge of Bengal Gaurav Gogoi, to decide on election strategy for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
State Congress sources who spoke to PTI on condition of anonymity, said it has been decided that chairman of the state co-ordination committee Pradip Bhattacharya and Leader of Opposition in Assembly Abdul Mannan will speak to CPI(M) on the issue of the seat sharing and the matter should to sorted out by March 3.
"We can't wait till eternity for CPI(M). They have our list of seats. Now it is for them to take a call on the matter on what they want. We will not compromise with our dignity for the sake of seat sharing. We have our list of 42 candidates prepared," a senior state Congress leader, who was present in the meeting, told PTI.
The state Congress apart from Raiganj and Murshidabad seats, is keen on fighting in at least 15 other constituencies which includes Purulia.
Represented by the CPI(M), Raiganj and Murshidabad are the only two Lok Sabha seats that the Left has in West Bengal, its erstwhile stronghold. These two places, however, are known as pocket borough of the Congress.
The Purulia Lok Sabha seat is presently with the TMC.
Raiganj, which was a pocket borough of Congress stalwart Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi, went to CPI(M)'s Mohammad Salim in 2014. He defeated Priya Ranjan's wife and Congress nominee Deepa Dasmunshi by less than 2,000 votes.
Murshidabad was bagged by Badarroza Khan of CPI(M), who defeated Congress' Abdul Mannan Hossain by about 18,000 votes. Hossain had triumphed on this seat in 2009, trouncing CPI(M)'s Anisur Rahman.
Left Front constituent Forward Bloc is not ready to share the Purulia seat with Congress, as they have been fighting from that constituency for the last several decades.
"Apart from these three seats we want to contest at least 15 other seats. But the CPI(M) is ready to give us only 12. So if CPI(M) doesn't agree it is better to fight alone rather than compromising with our dignity," another senior state Congress leader said.

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First Published: Feb 27 2019 | 8:05 PM IST

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