The discussion among Left Front partners over sharing of seats with the Congress has received a major jolt on Tuesday with the allies refused to give more seats to its new friend.
Talks between the CPI(M) and CPI failed to yield any results with the latter refusing to give Kandi seat to the Congress. The CPI wanted Kandi and Kalimpong seats but later agreed to give Kalimpong seat to the Congress. Kandi in Murshidabad is a Congress stronghold. Atish Chandra Sinha used to be elected from the seat. The CPI has also demanded two seats one each in Burdwan and Hooghly.
The Forward Bloc has refused to give 7/8 seats to the Congress. They have also shown displeasure over the proposal that Congress leaders should come to Alimuddin Street to hold talks with Left Front partners.
There is a strong resentment within the CPI(M) with the Burdwan lobby opposing alliance with the Congress. Achinta Mullick, secretary of Burdwan district committee of the party said that it would not allow any seat adjustment.
This put the election managers in a tight spot as the Burdwan lobby had played a major role in taking important decision of the party. First plenum of the party was held in Burdwan.
The party leaders like Harekrishna Konar, Benoy Chowdhury and Rabin Sen had played an important role in organising the farmers and later giving a shape to the operation Barga movement. After them, leaders like Nirupam Sen, Madan Ghosh, Mrinal Banerjee, Jibon Roy and Haradhan Roy had played important roles in both the agrarian front and industrial front.
There were leaders like Mansur Habibullah and Mehboob Jahedi, who had played significant role in organising the party in the district.
Habibullah was the Law Minister when the Left Front came to power in 1977 and later became Speaker of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly.
Burdwan was a red bastion till 2011 and both in the urban and rural areas the party had strong base. Nirupam Sen, the then state Industry Minister lost to Rabiranjan Chatterjee and that makred the beginning of the party’s debacle in Burdwan.
The Congress has fielded four candidates in Burdwan district in Kulti, Purbasthali, Kalna and Asansol. Though CPI(M) has not yet published the list of candidates in Burdwan, there is apprehension among senior CPI(M) leaders that not being satisfied with the Congress list, the party leaders might field Independent candidates and that might affect poll prospect of Congress candidates in these seats.
Pranab Chatterjee and some others have also raised objection to the alliance. CPI(M) leaders admitted that it would be difficult to make the Left Front partners accept the seat sharing principle and if no unanimous opinion is held, the benefit will go to the Trinamool Congress.