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At Brigade rally, rift between Congress & Abbas Siddiqui's ISF becomes evident

At Brigade rally, rift between Congress & Abbas Siddiquis ISF becomes evident
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Kolkata: The electoral alliance between Congress and Left Front ran into rough weather after the rift between the PCC president Adhir Chowdhury and Indian Secular Front's (ISF) Abbas Siddiqui over seat adjustment came to the forefront during the joint rally at Brigade on Sunday. A visibly-angered Chowdhury left the venue even before the meeting

concluded.

The rift became all the more evident when Chowdhury had to stop his speech midway when Siddiqui arrived. As the ISF chief climbed onto the stage, the crowd greeted him by shouting 'bhaijan' in chorus.

The Left leaders including Mohammed Salim and Biman Bose rushed to welcome Siddiqui even as Chowdhury was delivering his speech. For a few minutes, it appeared as if no one was listening to the Congress leader. On stage, Abbas greeted the Left leaders but remained indifferent to Chowdhury. Looking embarrassed, Chowdhury stopped his speech and was about to leave the podium. But, he was requested to finish his speech by Biman Bose.

On the other hand, Siddiqui's speech at the rally also signaled that all isn't hunky dory between ISF and Congress.

Despite attributing the Left parties with friendly rhetoric, Siddiqui refrained from addressing Congress with a positive attitude. Rather, his speech was an indirect caution to the Congress over seat-sharing issue. "We have kept our doors open for friends. But, we will not let anyone exploit us. Rather, we will snatch our rights," Siddiqui said with Chowdhury seated on the stage.

"Our seat adjustment with the Left Front has not been finalised. Unless I know my position, how can I share seats with others," Chowdhury said later. CPI (M) and ISF have inked an electoral alliance, agreeing to give 30 seats to the latter.

Siddiqui clearly said it would not be possible for his party to sever connection with Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM. Owaisi is often referred to as a stooge of BJP. Interestingly, Siddiqui did not say a word against the BJP.

Mamata Banerjee's allegation that Congress, CPI (M) and BJP have clandestine understanding has proven true. Congress and CPI (M) have entered into formal alliance and they are taking Siddiqui to cut votes in the Mulsim-dominated areas to help the BJP.

Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Bhupesh Baghel, who was also present at the rally, said the Narendra Modi government was selling off public sector enterprises and infrastructure built by the previous Congress governments.

Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress leader Firhad Hakim said: "It seems that the alliance will not go very far. CPI (M) goons had killed thousands of Congress workers. They are clinging on to each other for survival and now they have another partner.

We do not believe in religion-based politics."

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