Congress unit in West Bengal in favour of contesting LS polls 2019 'alone'
Updated:  Nov 13, 2018, 09:00 AM
The Congress unit in West Bengal wants to fight the upcoming Lok Sabha elections 2019 "alone" in the state despite the party forging alliances with different regional parties in other parts of the country to dethrone BJP from power.
West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee (WBPCC) President Somen Mitra told media that the view has been communicated to the Congress President Rahul Gandhi and the final call on the issue would be taken by the AICC leadership.
The Bengal unit of Congress believes that this alliance with either the CPI(M) or the Trinamool Congress will not be beneficial for the party for "long term". Such an alliance will weaken the party base in the state through the formula has been successful in Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh by forging alliances with regional parties the JD(S) and the Samajwadi Party, Congress leaders said.
Somen Mitra said, "During my meeting with our party president Rahul Gandhi I had clearly said that it would be good if we fight the Lok Sabha election alone. We may not win many seats but our party will continue to exist in Bengal in the future."
"Forging an alliance with the Trinamool Congress might give us more seats, but it will also ensure that the Congress will cease to exist in Bengal as TMC is more keen on poaching our MLAs and elected representatives," she added.
Senior Congress leaders like P Chidambaram have advocated state-wise alliances to defeat the BJP at the Centre.
State Congress leaders claim aligning with the CPI(M)-led Left Front is not advisable as Left itself is facing a retreat in the state.
"So we have told the Congress president that it is better for the future of the party in Bengal that we fight the Lok Sabha election alone. Doing so may not ensure too many seats, but it will at least guarantee the revival of our organisation in the long run," Subhankar Sarkar member of AICC said.
A senior Congress leader said, "Everyone aspires to contest the election on a ticket of the party he has been working with. But due to alliances with the TMC in 2001, 2009 and 2011 and CPI(M) in 2016, our organisation has suffered badly. We could neither offer seats to our party leaders nor could we put up our symbols in various seats. That has badly damaged our organisation."
There are some leaders in the state who are who are strongly advocating Congress-TMC alliance to stop the march of BJP in West Bengal. Abu Hasem Khan Chowdhury, the Congress MP from Malda South and the brother of late party stalwart ABA Ghani Khan Chowdhury, his niece Mausam Benazir Noor, also an MP from the same district are among such leaders.
Pradip Bhattacharya, chairman of the party coordination committee, supported the claim that the mood of the state leadership is to go alone in the polls.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had set the target of winning all the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
"We don't need anybody in Bengal. We can fight and win on our own," a senior TMC leader said.
Dilip Ghosh, President West Bengal BJP take a dig on Congress and said that the Congress will not be able to win a single seat in the state this time whether it forges an alliance or not.
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