West Bengal state Congress president and leader of the Congress party in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury led a rally in Kolkata on Friday to take on the ruling Trinamool Congress in the state and the BJP which is going all guns blazing in Bengal. Mr Chowdhury told NDTV in the battle between the Trinamool Congress and the BJP, the Left and the Congress may have suffered but it was a wrong perception that this electoral battle was only between the BJP and the Trinamool. He said the alliance between the Left and the Congress was a force to reckon with and seat sharing talks between them are moving smoothly.
Speaking to NDTV, Mr Chowdhury said, "First of all, there is a common perception that has been propagated across the nation that in Bengal, election is being fought only between the TMC and BJP. I think this is far from the truth. In West Bengal, Congress-Left alliance has now emerged as a formidable force to confront the BJP and TMC. So the entire narrative of Bengal has been drastically changing."
Political analysts explain that the BJP's gains in West Bengal have come at the cost of the Congress and the Left, which have been practically reduced to watching from the sidelines as the BJP and the Trinamool go head-to-head in the upcoming Assembly elections. The Trinamool says the Congress and the Left are only helping the BJP by targeting the Trinamool Congress. Senior Trinamool leader Partho Chatterjee told reporters, "We are attacking the BJP in the state and their friends the CPI(M) and the Congress."
Adhir Chowdhury responded to the barb saying, "Everybody is at liberty to hurl allegations at us but the reality speaks the truth in West Bengal. After Mamata Banerjee assumed power in the state of West Bengal we have witnessed the deliberate and calculated occupation of the opposition space. The Congress and the Left parties were squeezed. I do not know if someone is taking advantage of the situation because the onus is not on the Congress party to save the corrupt government led by Mamata Banerjee. I think the Congress and the Left are emerging as the third alternative force in West Bengal."
However, with elections barely a few months away, the Congress and the Left are yet to make significant announcements on seat sharing. There have been reports of a road block when it comes to a seat sharing formula. Adhir Chowdhury dismissed the reports and told NDTV, "I do not have any idea about this road block that you are talking about. Everything according to my knowledge is moving very smoothly. Everything is hunky dory."