This Article is From Mar 04, 2019

"No Mutual Contest" In 6 Bengal Lok Sabha Seats: Left's Offer To Congress

Elections 2019: Sitaram Yechury said for the rest of the seats in the state, a decision would be taken on March 8.

'No Mutual Contest' In 6 Bengal Lok Sabha Seats: Left's Offer To Congress

Sitaram Yechury said his party will ensure pooling of anti-BJP, anti-TMC votes (File)

New Delhi:

The Communist Party of India (Marxist)(CPM) has proposed a seat sharing formula to the Congress in West Bengal.

"In West Bengal, the Central Committee had earlier decided that the CPI(M) will adopt suitable tactics to ensure the maximization of the pooling of  anti-BJP, anti-TMC votes.

"In accordance with this, the CPI(M) proposes no mutual contest in the present six sitting Lok Sabha seats, currently held by Congress and the Left Front," the CPM general Sitaram Yechuri said today.

He was speaking after a meeting of the party's Central Committee,  which is the decision making body of the party.

The Left Front will meet on March 8 to finalise the other seats.

In 2014 general elections, the Left Front won two seats - Raiganj and Murshidabad -- both earlier held by the Congress. The Congress had won four seats - Uttar Maldaha, Maldaha Dakshin, Baharampur and Jangipur.

The CPM offer coincided with attempts by its rival, the Trinamool Congress, to also stitch an alliance with the Congress.

Earlier,  Mamata Banerjee, the Trinamool chief, had ruled out any seat sharing.

Sources have told NDTV that many regional political parties are forced to ponder over a pan-India, grand alliance following the developments after the Pulwama terror attack.

Two key opposition players, Nationalist Congress party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, have urged Rahul Gandhi to revisit alliances in West Bengal and Delhi with Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress and Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) - both bitter rivals at the state level.

After back-and-forth on a grand alliance, a host of opposition leaders had met last month at Sharad Pawar's house. Congress president Rahul Gandhi, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal and Mamata Banerjee were also present at the meeting.

Mr Gandhi, however, said after the meeting that his party would contest against Ms Banerjee and Mr Kejriwal's party.

Mr Kejriwal, who had a bitter critic of the Congress, later said he was keen on an alliance in Delhi, but Mr Gandhi's party was not ready.

Days after 40 CRPF jawans were killed in a terror attack in Pulwama, Indian Air Force fighters destroyed a Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). A day after the strike, India thwarted a Pakistan attempt to bomb Indian military installations. An Indian Mig-21 fighter shot down a Pakistani jet, but also took a hit. The pilot parachuted in the PoK, was captured, and released after nearly 60 hours.