In what seems like a decisive blow for the grand coalition that was being proposed in order to defeat the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls seems to have fallen apart completely, at least in the state of West Bengal, in an abrupt manner. Unfortunately for Modi-haters and opposition parties, this has happened with less than a month to go for the Lok Sabha polls. In a major dent to the prospects of a Mahagathbandhan, the Congress has called off its alliance with the Left in West Bengal. West Bengal Pradesh Congress president stated, “We have decided that it is not possible for us to continue with this alliance. We don’t need to be in an alliance that compromises the dignity of our party.”
This massive decision came after the Left Front included Congress leader, Dr. Rezaul Karim, in its first list of candidates. While the list mentions his name, it is interesting to note that it doesn’t reveal the party from which he is going to contest. The Congress seems miffed after the Left Front made the above-stated announcement. Mitra asked, “How can they decide who will be our candidate? Our Medical Cell chairman’s name (Dr. Rezaul Karim) 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?”
From the angry reaction that the West Bengal Congress chief has given, it won’t be wrong to infer that the Congress-Left alliance in the state of West Bengal has fallen apart decisively. In fact, the Congress has reportedly decided to go solo in the state and the grand old party has now decided to contest all 42 seats in the state. Trouble between the Congress and the Left had begun over the Raiganj parliamentary constituency. A section of the state Congress was reluctant towards handing over the Raiganj seat to CPI (M). The proposed alliance faced a major setback when the Left Front unilaterally announced candidates for 25 seats. Merely 17 seats were left for the Congress in an arbitrary manner. What made matters worse was the fact that the Left Front had also announced that sitting MP from Raiganj Md Salim was being re-nominated.
The alliance that was facing a lot of trouble finally succumbed to the acrimony between the Congress and the Left Front. The fact that it has fallen apart has major political ramifications. It means that the state of West Bengal will witness a four-cornered contest. All the political outfits, BJP, TMC, Congress and the Left Front will be going solo in West Bengal. At the outset, it implies that the BJP will be in a state of advantage over its opponents. There will be no consolidation of anti-BJP votes and such division of votes will directly help the BJP. Just like many other states, the grand coalition has fallen apart in the state of West Bengal. Going into 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP has a clear edge over its opponents in the state.
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