Closing all possibilities of an alliance with the Left Front, the West Bengal Congress plans to contest all 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state on its own. This decision comes two days after the Left announced its candidates in 25 seats out of the 42 parliamentary seats in West Bengal.
The internal rift between the alliance of Congress and the Left Front became evident as the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee (WBPCC) chief, Soman Mitra asserted that the left was never serious about the alliance.
“Left Front announced its candidates in 25 Lik Sabha seats in West Bengal on March 15 without any decision with West Bengal Congress. Due to the unyielding behaviour of the CPI(M) and its ally parties in the Left Front, we are calling off the proposed seat sharing in the state and have decided to fight BJP and the Trinamool Congress in Bengal with our own force,” said Mitra.
Criticising the Left Front for its negative attitude on the seat-sharing decision and urging people to vote for Congress candidates only Mitra furthered, “Left was never serious about the alliance. The way they behaved during the 2016 election was also cited. Post the 2016 results, left blamed Congress for not cooperating and fully supporting but the fact is that in many places Left didn’t back Congress.”
“It’s a matter of dignity of the party. To maintain our dignity, we have decided to come out of the seat-sharing agreement,” said Mitra.
With this, the Congress’ Mahagatbandhan fantasy seems to be getting further shaken up. Earlier, too this endeavour had suffered a major blow in Andra Pradesh where the Congress had decided to go alone in the upcoming elections, after breaking its ties with the Telegu Desam Party.
The cracks in the alliance of TDP-Congress had surfaced after the debacle in the last assembly elections of Telangana. Both the parties had cobbled up an alliance with Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) and Communist Party of India (CPI), to combat the incumbent Telangana Rashtra Samithi CM KC Rao. The alliance, named Prajakutami, had failed miserably with Congress getting 19 seats out of 100 it had contested, and TDP getting relegated to two seats.
Similarly, the Mahagatbnadhan dreams of Congress have failed to materialise in other states as well. The recent announcement of the alliance between Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party had brought bad news for Congress as it was kept at bay with mere two seats of Amethi and Rae Bareli. Congress had later announced that it will field candidates in all seats of UP.
BSP has also announced that in Madhya Pradesh, it will contest all the Lok Sabha seats by its own without Congress. In Bihar too, the Rashtriya Janta Dal leaders have expressed discontent with Congress.
Meanwhile, with JDS also dropping hints of leaving the Congress unless the Congress stops taking decisions unilaterally and asserting itself on JDS, the Congress’ dream of forging a national coalition to take on the ruling BJP in the 2019 general elections seems to be falling like a stack of dominoes.
With most of the allies leaving the grand old party stranded, just in the nick of time, it would now become interesting to see how Congress will go about fulfilling its bizarre and self-assured dream of taking on BJP and winning the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.