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Assembly polls: Opposition alliances may finalise seat sharing this week

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 02, 2021

BJP National Spokesperson Sambit Patra   -  THE HINDU

The Opposition in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Assam have started seat-sharing talks which are likely to be finalised by this week, according to political leaders engaged in such negotiations.

In West Bengal, the Congress which demanded about 100 seats got 92. The Indian Secular Front, the newly launched political outfit, may get 30 seats and the Left front will contest from the rest. A senior leader said the discussions are over except for some final touches.

Mixed opinion

Meanwhile, problems started within the Congress over the decision to accommodate ISF in the alliance. Senior leader Anand Sharma questioned the decision and reminded the Bengal unit of the party that secularism is paramount. But the PCC president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury defended the decision and asked Sharma to not to voice BJP’s concerns and no one should doubt the secular credentials of an alliance led by the Left. The AICC also supported its state unit. Party spokesman and MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the Congress had bargained for 92 seats and it stands fulfilled and party is concerned entirely with that. He said a secular front has been created to combat the BJP and the CPI(M) decided to give some seats out of its own quota to the ISF.

BJP criticises

BJP spokesman Sambit Patra said leaders like Anand Sharma and Ghulam Nabi Azad should be allowed to express their opinions. He said the Congress’s sole aim is to maintain the Gandhi family’s relevance. “The Congress has tied up with a ‘maulana’s party’ and the Left in West Bengal, while it’s fighting the Left in Kerala. The opposition party is also working to strike an alliance with Badruddin Ajmal’s AIDUF in Assam and has joined hands with the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. The Congress has no ideology. Its only ideology is corruption and nepotism and to come to power anyhow,” Patra said.

In Assam, the Congress is trying to form a grand alliance. The Left parties have demanded three seats each from the Congress. The AIUDF and the BPF have demanded seats in two-digits.

In Tamil Nadu, another round of informal negotiations within the alliance led by DMK happened on Monday. Sources indicate that the Congress has demanded 30 seats while the two Left parties have demanded 12 seats each.

Published on March 02, 2021

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