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CPI(M) Honours Congress Request, To Declare Lok Sabha List Only After Resolving Seat-Sharing Issues


Kolkata: As requested by the West Bengal Congress leadership, the CPI(M) decided against declaring its list of candidates for the Lok Sabha polls on Wednesday.

The Left party is now likely to name its contenders on March 16.

State Congress president Somendra Nath Mitra welcomed the decision and expressed hope that seats-sharing issues with the CPI(M) in some constituencies would be resolved soon.

CPI(M) secretariat member Rabin Deb told News18, “It’s not just a political curtesy. We also have to discuss seat-sharing issues with all the constituents of the Left Front before announcing the list of candidates.”
When asked whether the party has managed to resolve constituency-related issues with the Congress, Deb said, “Not yet, but talks are on. Hopefully, it will be done in the coming few days. Then, accordingly, we will announce our list.”

On the Trinamool’s list, he said, “It is a clear case of match-fixing between the BJP and TMC, which has fielded weak candidates to make way for the saffron party.”

Recently, the state Congress unit had asked the CPI (M) not to announce the Lok Sabha candidate list on March 13 as there were still some seats from where leaders of both the party wanted to contest.

Congress MP Pradip Bhattacharya had said, “We have requested the CPI(M) not to announce the list on Wednesday because ‘seat to-seat’ discussion in some constituencies is yet to be done. We need to resolve it first before announcing the list.”

It was learnt that the Congress wanted to contest from 17 seats, including Purulia, Bankura, Bashirhat, Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Krishnanagar, Hooghly, Burdwan, Howrah and Midnapore (both West and East), while the Left party wanted to field its candidates in 25 seats.

However, there is a bone of contention over seats, like Purulia, Bashirhat and Jalpaiguri, from where Congress as well as Left leaders from the Forward Bloc and CPI have expressed their desire to contest.

Earlier, there were issues with the Murshidabad and Raigunj seats, but the matter was resolved after Congress president Rahul Gandhi had a word with CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury.

Now, both the seats — Murshidabad and Raigunj — will be contested by CPI(M) sitting MPs Badaruddoza Khan and Mohammad Salim, respectively.​

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