Jangipur/Kolkata/Patna/Jammu, Mar 3 (ANI): Political parleys began in earnest as the Election Commission announced dates for April-May general elections.
Congress said that talks were on with Trinamool Congress in West Bengal for a poll pact.
"We have discussed on poll alliance. The discussion was fruitful and productive. The matter will be finalised in full detail by the All India Congress Committee in Delhi," said Pranab Mukherjee, senior Congress leader and External Affairs Minister in Jangipur.
Trinamool Congress demanded deployment of central paramilitary force in all the poll booths in the state to ensure free and fair election.
"It is our parliamentary demand that each and individual booth of the state should be manned and managed by the Central Government paramilitary force," said Mukul Roy, a senior leader of Trinamool Congress in Kolkata.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), an ally of the UPA said the coalition was in a position to project a united front against what he termed a disjointed opposition alliance.
"The NDA and the BJP would be a separate compartment and the UPA and we all the secular forces will try our level best to fight them," RJD chief Lalu told reporters in Patna.
Meanwhile, welcoming the poll schedule, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah hoped that there would a large turnout similar to the last year's assembly election in the state.
"I am extremely hopeful that we will have a similar environment, in which people will be free to come out and use their vote for the candidate of their own choice. That is the essence of democracy," said Abdullah in Jammu. (ANI)