Bengal Cong leaders meet Rahul to discuss alliance

Kolkata, Feb 1: West Bengal Congress leaders today conveyed to party Vice President Rahul Gandhi the "sentiments of grassroots workers" seeking an alliance with the Left for the upcoming polls in the state even as there is speculation regarding such a tie-up for taking on the ruling TMC.

"We presented all the facts during our meeting. It is not that I am an advocate of an alliance, but it is the pressure of the grassroots-level workers who are in favour of such a tie-up," state Congress chief Adhir Chowdhury said over the phone after the interaction with Rahul in New Delhi.


"Rahulji gave us a patient hearing and said he will discuss the matter with Congress President Sonia Gandhi. He said a final decision on the matter will be taken soon," he added.

Chowdhury said they have "communicated the desperate feeling of our party workers and common people in Bengal who want an alliance of Congress and Left in order to defeat Trinamool Congress and BJP in Bengal".

Rahul had summoned the state Congress leadership to New Delhi to discuss the political situation and possible alliance with Left in Bengal.

"The meeting was very positive. None of the state leaders was for an alliance with TMC although one or two leaders expressed their opinion in favour of Congress contesting alone", the WBPCC chief said even as he added that "(Gandhi's) single-point agenda is to strengthen the party organisation".

"We told Rahulji how TMC had used us in 2011 and weakened our party since then. He also seemed to be aware of it," state Congress general secretary Om Prakash Mishra said.

Mishra had earlier written twice to the Congress president Sonia advocating an alliance with the Left. Apart from Chowdhury, state Congress leaders like Pradip Bhattacharya, Manas Bhunia, Abdul Manan, Deepa Dasmunshi, Mausam Benazir Noor and Abhijit Mukherjee were present for the meeting, besides some other senior leaders.

Former Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and CPI(M) state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra have called upon Congress at public meetings to join hands with the Left Front to oust the TMC in the Assembly polls later this year.


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