regular-article-logo Monday, 22 July 2024

Left Front chairman Biman Bose announces Left candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls at Alimuddin Street on Thursday

Sujan Chakraborty moves to Dum Dum; daughter-in-law of Hashim Abdul Halim, Saira Shah Halim gets ticket from Calcutta South

Arnab Ganguly Calcutta Published 14.03.24, 06:03 PM
(L-R) Saira Shah Halim, Sujan Chakraborty, Dipshita Dhar, Srijan Bhattacharya and Sabyasachi Chatterjee.

(L-R) Saira Shah Halim, Sujan Chakraborty, Dipshita Dhar, Srijan Bhattacharya and Sabyasachi Chatterjee. TTO Graphics.

The CPM has packed its first list of candidates with fresh faces for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, amidst differences with other electoral partners.

The Left Front chairman Biman Bose on Friday announced the names of 16 candidates, 13 from the CPM and one each from the three main LF constituents, the CPI, the Forward Block and the RSP.


Whether the Congress and the Indian Secular Front will come on board with the Left parties against the Trinamul and the BJP is still doubtful, though the CPM leadership sounded confident.

“There is no alliance, but talks are on for seat-sharing,” said Bose after announcing names of the 16 candidates out of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in Bengal. “If the Congress is keen on seat-sharing we are not going to say no, but the Congress has to come forward.”

Left Front chairman Biman Bose.

Left Front chairman Biman Bose. The Telegraph Online.

The CPM is keen on formalising the seat-sharing deal with the Congress, which has been singing in different tunes in Delhi and Calcutta.

While the Bengal leaders would prefer to go with the Left, the Congress high command in Delhi favoured the Trinamul. However, after Mamata Banerjee declared candidates from all 42 seats, the possibility of the Congress and the Left joining forces have increased, though the activity hasn’t been as hectic as the Left would have liked.

“Our state secretary (Mohammad Salim) had spoken with the state Congress president. The Bengal Congress leaders are in Delhi. Let them settle the issue with the AICC first, after that they are welcome (if they decide to go for formal seat-sharing),” Bose said.

The Front partners will be meeting again over the weekend to finalise the candidates for the remaining seats and are confident that the seat-sharing arrangement would be finalised by then.

“By early next week talks will mature. There could be other parties too who will join us. Wait and watch for now,” said Mohammad Salim, the CPM state secretary.

In the 2021, Assembly polls the Left had stitched an alliance with the Congress and the Indian Secular Front, which ended on a disastrous note. Except for Naushad Siddiqui from Bhangar, the alliance failed to win any other seat. The ISF had contested from 37 Assembly seats in 2021.

Much to the dismay of the Left, the ISF has unilaterally announced candidates for eight Lok Sabha seats across the state. They have fielded candidates in Barasat, Basirhat, Mathurapur, Jadavpur, Uluberia, Serampore, Maldah South and Murshidabad.

Both the Left and the Congress were willing to support Siddiqui from the Diamond Harbour seat, which is represented by Trinamul’s all-India general secretary Abhishek Banerjee in the Lok Sabha.

“This election is for the Jadavpur Lok Sabha seat and not Bhangar. Does the ISF have the organisational machinery to contest polls in these eight seats?” asked a senior CPM leader. “Eight Lok Sabha seats mean 56 Assembly segments. Did they contest from 56 Assembly seats in 2021?”

Among the senior CPM leaders former Jadavpur MP Sujan Chakraborty has been fielded from Dum Dum. Social activist Saira Shah Halim, who had polled over 30,00 votes from the Ballygunge Assembly bye-election held in 2022, will contest from Calcutta South. The CPM has decided to field young faces like Srijan Bhattacharya, Dipsita Dhar, Sayan Banerjee and lawyer Sabyasachi Chatterjee, among others.

There is a possibility of Salim contesting from the Murshidabad Lok Sabha seat. The CPM would rather have popular youth leader Minakshi Mukherjee be the party’s star campaigner across the state and not field her this time.

The state Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury who was in Delhi for the selection of election commissioners is in talks with the party president Mallikarjun Kharge.

“Even a tacit understanding with the Trinamul will have an adverse impact on the few party workers that we have. The few elected representatives that we have might move to the BJP if we continue to woo Trinamul,” said a Congress Working Committee member from Bengal.

Adhir Chowdhury too expressed confidence at settling the seat-sharing issue with the CPM.

“No list is sacrosanct. Talks are on,” Chowdhury said.

A senior Congress leader said, Chowdhury spoke with Salim soon after the Left Front meeting.

“Informally we are looking at 14 seats but nothing is fixed. In the next two-three days, we will be able to sort out everything,” said a Congress leader.

Cooch Behar: Nitish Chandra Roy (Forward Bloc)

Jalpaiguri: Debraj Burman (CPM)

Balurghat: Joydeb Siddhanta (RSP)

Krishnagar: SM Sadi (CPM)

Dum Dum: Sujan Chakraborty (CPM)

Jadavpur: Srijan Bhattacharya (CPM)

Calcutta south: Saira Shah Halim (CPM)

Howrah: Sabyasachi Chatterjee (CPM)

Serampore: Dipshita Dhar (CPM)

Hooghly: Monodeep Ghosh (CPM)

Tamluk: Sayan Banerjee (CPM)

Midnapore: Biplab Bhatta (CPI)

Bankura: Nilanjan Dasgupta (CPM)

Bishnupur: Shital Kaibarta (CPM)

Burdwan east: Nirab Khan (CPM)

Asansol: Jahanara Khan (CPM)

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