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Bengal Cong wants to fight LS polls alone

Kolkata: The Congress unit in West Bengal is in favour of fighting the coming Lok Sabha election “alone” in the state despite the party forging alliances with different regional outfits in other parts of the country in its bid to oust the BJP.
The view has been communicated to Congress President Rahul Gandhi and the final call on the issue would be taken by the AICC leadership, West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committe President Somen Mitra told PTI. The Congress has already been hit with the exodus of its elected representatives to the Trinamool Congress. The Bengal unit of the Congress feels that an alliance with either the CPI(M) or the Trinamool Congress will not serve the “long term” interests of the party. Such an eventuality will only further erode the party’s base in the state though it had tasted success in Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh by forging alliances with regional parties, Congress leaders said.
“During my meeting with our party president Rahul Gandhi I had clearly said that it would be good if we fight the Lok Sabha election alone. We may not win many seats but our party will continue to exist in Bengal in the future,” Mitra said.
“Forging an alliance with the Trinamool Congress might give us more seats, but it will also ensure that Congress will cease to exist in Bengal as TMC is more keen on poaching our MLAs and elected representatives,” Mitra said.
Senior Congress leaders like P Chidambaram have advocated state-wise alliances to defeat the BJP at the Centre. According to state Congress leaders, aligning with the CPI(M)-led Left Front will not serve any purpose as it will not ensure winning seats as the Left itself is facing a rout in the state. Congress sources, who did not wish to be named, said one of main reasons behind the decision against aligning with the TMC is that the party is not very sure if it would be offered more than four LS seats, it presently has in the state, by the ruling party. (PTI)

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