Amid last-minute efforts by the Congress and the Left leadership to end the stalemate over seats where they are still locked in a dispute, state Congress president Adhir Chowdhury, on Sunday, put out a fresh list of candidates for 23 more seats of which the Left and the Congress will have a “friendly contest” in seven.
Sunday’s announcement took the number of seats from where Congress will contest to 97. The 294 assembly seats in Bengal will go to polls over six phases. “We had earlier announced candidates for 75 seats, leaving Jaipur (seat) in Purulia for the Left. Our candidates will contest 16 more seats. Besides, there will be friendly contests between us and the Left in seven seats,” Chowdhury told mediapersons in Berhampore on Sunday evening.
The seven seats where the Left and Congress could be locked in a friendly battle are Bharatpur, Domkol, Harihar para (in Murshidabad), Harishchandrapur and Malatipur (in Malda), Tapan (Dakshin Dinajpur) and Beliaghata (Kolkata).
These apart, the PCC chief announced candidates for Kolkata Port, Alipurduars, Manikchak in Malda, Shyampur in Howrah and Nayagram in West Midnapore.
However, there still seems to be no consensus on four more contentious seats. While Adhir announced candidates for Alipurduars and Durgapur Paschim seats on Sunday, RSP’s Kshiti Goswami told HT that their candidate will contest from Alipurduars. There is strong resentment in CPI(M)’s Burdwan unit over the allotment of the Durgapur Paschim to the Congress.
“I always maintained that seat sharing will be a reality in about 95% of the seats. It is only in seven of the 294 seats that the Left and the Congress will have friendly fight,” Chowdhury said. He also announced the names of eight seats where the Congress and Left Front will jointly support independents or candidates put up by smaller parties.
Senior CPI(M) leader and the party’s Singur nominee Rabin Deb held a meeting with state Congress veterans Pradip Bhattacharya and Somen Mitra at the latter’s residence on Sunday night.