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In a first, Cong & Left Front to hold joint rally at Brigade on Feb 28

Kolkata: For the first time in the history of Bengal politics, two arch rivals—Congress and Left Front—will jointly organise a rally at the Brigade parade ground on February 28.

A meeting between the Congress and Left Front leaders was held to discuss the issue of seat sharing on Thursday afternoon. Left Front Chairman Biman Bose, CPI (M) state Secretary Surya Kanta Mishra attended the meeting along with Adhir Chowdhury, PCC president and Abdul Mannan.

Bose said it was decided that Left Front would field candidates in 101 seats while Congress would fight in 92 seats. The leaders of both the parties would soon meet to decide the fate of the remaining 101 seats. The leaders will discuss the seat sharing in Malda and Murshidabad, which are Congress stronghold and Purulia later.

The alliance between Congress and Left Front, which was inked before 2016 Assembly elections, had failed to yield desired results. The CPI (M) got only 28 seats, lowest since 1971 and the Left Front had bagged 32 seats. The Congress got 44 seats. After the results of the election were out, CPI (M) Politburo had issued a statement that the alliance was not in consonant with the party's Central Committee decision. The Central committee had decided that the party should keep itself away from both Congress and BJP. After this the state CPI (M) leaders held a series of talks with the Politburo and Central committee members and had successfully convinced them that an alliance with the Congress was the need of the hour.

Political experts said in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the alliance did not work well and the Left Front had failed to bag a single seat. As a matter of fact, apart from Bikas Bhattacharya, the deposit of all the candidates was forfeited.

The experts said it is to be seen how the followers of Congress and CPI (M) come close and help each other to ensure victory of the candidates of the alliance.

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