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Left Does Not Wait For Congress to Release First List of Candidates as Seat-Sharing Talks Dawdle


Kolkata: The Left Front announced its first list of 25 candidates for the Lok Sabha elections on Friday as it decided not to wait for the Congress to release its list. The Left, however, is yet to announce candidates for 17 seats, leaving room for negotiations with the grand old party.

The seat sharing pact between the Left and Congress is yet to be consolidated, as it hit a roadblock over two seats.

The state Congress unit will hold an internal meeting on Saturday to finalise their list of candidates. This will then be forwarded to the Congress high command in New Delhi, before it is released on Sunday.

Left Front chairman Biman Bose had called up Congress state chief Soumen Mitra on Friday afternoon. He had expressed urgency in announcing the first list, saying there was not sufficient time before the first phase of elections on April 11.
CPI(M) leader Dr. Fuad Halim will take on Mamata’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee, the incumbent MP from Diamond Harbour constituency, while former mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya has been fielded from the important Jadavpur consituency.

Bhattacharya will fight against actress Mimi Chakraborty, a greenhorn in politics whose charisma TMC is banking on to garner votes.

Last week, the Left had announced that sitting MPs Mohammad Salim and Badaruddoza Khan would be fielded again from Raigunj and Murshidabad constituencies.

The Left had, however, made it clear that it would not put up candidates in four constituencies, which are winning seats for the Congress, unless the Congress decides to put up candidates in Murshidabad and Raigunj.

In its statement released with the candidate list, the Left has said that the Congress wanted to pitch candidates from Purulia and Bashirat, however the Forward Bloc and CPI would field its candidates there.

The statement also mentioned that the Congress can also put up candidates in these constituencies. The Left proposed that there can be some seats where both the Left and Congress lend their support to independent candidates.

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