The CPI(M) leadership in West Bengal is in a fix over choosing between the Congress and its Left Front allies, who are not willing to leave the seats they have been contesting for decades. The Congress is keen on contesting Purulia and Barasat Lok Sabha constituencies which Left Front members Forward Bloc and CPI have traditionally been contesting.
The development comes a week after the CPI(M) and the Congress resolved the impasse over Raiganj and Murshidabad Lok Sabha seats, following the intervention of Sitaram Yechury and Rahul Gandhi. The Congress has given up its demand for the two seats in the deal, but demanded Purulia and Barasat. This has led to a situation which has delaying the announcement of candidates of both the sides.
Purulia and Barasat are currently held by the Trinamool Congress. "The Congress wants those two seats as they have a strong presence there. But the Forward Bloc and the CPI are not willing to leave the seats. Let's see what happens. Talks are on," said a senior CPI(M) leader.
Forward Bloc state secretary Naren Chatterjee, who is averse to the CPI(M)-Congress seat sharing adjustment, said the party, as part of the Left Front, fights only three seats and there is no question of leaving them to the Congress. CPI(M) central committee member Rabin Deb held a meeting with state Congress president Somen Mitra to resolve the impasse.
According to sources, another round of talks between the two parties is likely to take place on Thursday. While the Congress had bagged four seats in the state in the 2014 general election, the CPI(M) had won only Raiganj and Murshidabad. The TMC got 34 seats and the BJP two.
(With inputs from agencies.)