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West Bengal:

The Congress party in West Bengal has decided to contest from all 42 constituencies in the state and declared that they are calling off any seat-sharing discussions with the Left Front.

The decision comes as an aftermath of the CPI(M) declaring Congress leader Dr Rezaul Karim’s name in its first list of candidates. Karim was the chairman of the state medical cell of the Congress. Among the 25 candidates named in the list, DR. Karim was named to be contesting from Birbhum constituency. But interestingly, the name of the party he represents is not mentioned in the list.

West Bengal Pradesh Congress president Somen Mitra reportedly expressed that “How can they decide who will be our candidate? Our Medical Cell chairman’s name was declared as their Birbhum candidate without taking due permission from our side! This is bizarre. So what’s the use of negotiations if Left front declares candidates on our behalf?” Mr. Mitra is to meet with Congress Party chief Rahul Gandhi on 18th March Monday on this regard.

Problems started to arise when the Congress leadership opposed giving the Raiganj seat to CPI(M), against the understanding to retain winning seats to respective parties and candidates. Even before the discussions came to a conclusion, the Left Front had announced their list of candidates for 25 seats, leaving 17 seats to be further discussed with the Congress leadership.

With this decision, West Bengal also is added up to the list of states where the Congress won’t be forming a ‘opposition alliance’ against BJP, as was the initial plan of the national party.

News18 reports that “CPI(M) state secretary Surya Kanta Mishra said he will not make any comment until and unless he gets to know anything official from the Congress. The Left Front has called a meeting on Monday to decide its next course of action.”

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