Though the official alliance with Congress hangs in the balance, the views of the Left Front over seat adjustment have become an albatross for CPI(M).
As the election is drawing near, the election managers of Alimuddin Street have realised that it would not be easy to make the partners support the alliance. The Front partners want a discussion in the Left Front before CPI(M) starts discussing seat sharing with Congress.
Congress had demanded 106 seats and had thereafter refused to adjust for less than 90 seats. The CPI(M) had earlier thought to give Congress 70 seats. But a major crisis cropped up after the Front partners asked CPI(M) to sacrifice maximum number of seats as the former has taken up the seat sharing issue with the Congress party. The RSP has demanded 23 seats, Forward Bloc has demanded 34 seats and CPI 11 seats. The leaders of these parties are determined not to sacrifice for Congress.
The Front partners have already informed the CPI(M) that they will not share dais with Congress and there will not be any joint manifesto. The SUCI have also informed that it will not support the alliance as it does not consider Congress to be a democratic party.
Meanwhile, the silence on the part of Congress High Command about the alliance has put the CPI(M) leaders in an embarrassing state. Though the state leaders have said that Congress is willing to form the alliance, but they know very well that unless they get official confirmation, their counterparts in the Central Committee from Kerala will not spare them. A veteran CPI(M) leader has said that the list of candidates cannot be finalised because of the delay in getting clearance from Congress high command.
Meanwhile, a section of Congress workers have been put up anti alliance posters all over the city. WBPCCC leaders initially ignored them but the way feeling of resentment is going up among different ranks, they believe that there will be exodus in the party towards Trinamool Congress once the election dates are declared.
Meanwhile, the list of candidates in Trinamool Congress is ready and is likely to be published on March 4 or 5. The party is going replace some old candidates with some new once.
On the other hand, dispelling doubts raised by Left Front ally RSP over the secular credentials of Congress, senior CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty on Wednesday said that the party is “indeed secular and democratic”.
The Congress too reciprocated by saying that the CPI(M) was a “better and more trusted ally” than TMC. “I don’t know what RSP said. But as far as CPI(M) is concerned we don’t consider Congress as a communal party. We feel Congress is a secular and a democratic force,” Chakraborty said.
RSP state secretary Kshiti Goswami had yesterday doubted the secular credentials of the Congress.
“We don’t believe Congress is a secular party. We have to know what their policy is. Has it changed its stand as they had been with TMC before? We have presented our critical assessment to the Left Front chairman,” RSP state secretary Kshiti Goswami said.
The partners of the CPI(M)-led Left Front on Tuesday had said the Congress should make the first move in forging an alliance for 2017 state assembly polls and approach the Left Front in this regard.
TMC supremo and chief Mamata Banerjee had dared the Congress and the CPI-M to make official their alliance and said that people would give them a befitting response in the upcoming Assembly elections.