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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Left lists only four names, making clear problems with convincing allies to sacrifice seats for Congress

Forward Bloc is in tussle with Congress over Barasat seat, RSP is not keen to spare Joynagar for ISF, which has already announced its names amid talks with CPM MP Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya

Joyjit Ghosh Calcutta Published 24.03.24, 10:00 AM
CPM candidate for Burdwan-Durgapur constituency Sukriti Ghosal

CPM candidate for Burdwan-Durgapur constituency Sukriti Ghosal

Only four names of Left Front candidates were released on Saturday, making it clear that the CPM has been facing problems convincing its allies, particularly the Forward Bloc, to sacrifice seats for the Congress.

“We need some more time to release the entire list… A few rounds of talks need to be held,” Left Front chairperson Biman Bose said in a bid to explain the staggered announcement of names.

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As reported in The Telegraph on Saturday, Bose announced CPM state secretary Md Salim would contest the Lok Sabha polls from Murshidabad.

Based on the performances of the Congress and the Left, CPM sources said Murshidabad was the best bet for the party. In 2019, the Congress polled 26 per cent votes and the CPM 12.44 per cent. Trinamul won with 41.57 per cent votes.

Bose said Sukriti Ghosal would contest from Burdwan-Durgapur, Alokesh Das from Ranaghat and Shyamali Pradhan from Bolpur.

These indicate that differences remain to be ironed out within the Left Front over seat-sharing with the Congress. The Front has so far come out with 21 names. The Congress released eight names on Thursday.

Ghosal told The Telegraph: “The BJP has threatened the Constitution. This election is about protecting the sanctity of the Constitution.”

Left Front sources said four seats — Purulia, Barasat, Joynagar and Ghatal — lie at the heart of the chaos.

Neither the Congress nor Forward Bloc are ready to give up their claim on Purulia. The CPI has refused to give in to the CPM’s demand to contest from Ghatal. The Congress has announced party veteran Nepal Mahato as its Purulia nominee.

The Forward Bloc is in a tussle with the Congress over the Barasat seat. The RSP is not keen to spare Joynagar for the ISF, which has already announced its names amid talks with CPM MP Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya.

Front partners are also not on the same page with the CPM’s seat-sharing formula to accommodate the Congress and the ISF.

“The CPI, RSP and Forward Bloc have three seats each to contest. The CPM proposes all Front constituents sacrifice one-third seats to adjust the Congress and the ISF. That leaves us with two seats each. We are working on a formula for the first time and it is taking time,” CPI leader Swapan Banerjee said.

Admitting that giving up seats was not easy, Salim said: “There is no readymade solution.... We are working on a formula. Wait a bit, we will achieve the desired result.”

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