Cong prepares to contest all 294 seats in West Bengal

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New Delhi, Mar 21: With a stalemate in its alliance with Trinamool Congress for West Bengal Assembly elections, Congress is preparing to contest all the 294 seats in the state. A final call in this regard will be taken by party chief Sonia Gandhi.

A clear indication to this effect was given by senior Congress leader Shakeel Ahmed, who is in-charge of party affairs in West Bengal.

"We are preparing three lists - for 64 seats, 90 seats and all 294 seats ...as a political party must have candidates for all seats," Ahmed told reporters here.

At the same time, he said Congress wanted the alliance to take place. "Congress still wants the alliance" and party leaders from West Bengal will abide by "whatever decision Congress high command takes in this regard," he said.

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee had sprung a surprise on Congress on Friday by unilaterally announcing her party's decision to contest 228 seats.

Trinamool had made the announcement despite Congress seeking some more time as it could not reach a consensus on either the number of seats or the constituencies to be shared.

Acknowledging the stalemate, Ahmed today said, "We still do not have consensus on the number of seats as well as the constituencies including some held by Congress. That's why there are differences in our perception."

PTI

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