CPI-M proposes no ‘mutual contest’ with Cong on 6 LS seats in West Bengal

New Delhi: In an attempt to ensure that there is a maximum pooling of anti-TMC-BJP votes in the coming Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal, the CPI-M has proposed “no mutual contest” with the Congress on six seats currently held by them.

The party’s Central Committee (CC) which met here on Monday reiterated its earlier decision “to adopt suitable tactics to ensure the maximization of the pooling of anti-BJP, anti-TMC votes” in West Bengal.

“In accordance with this, the CPI-M proposes no mutual contest in the present six sitting Lok Sabha seats, currently held by the Congress and the Left Front,” said the party General Secretary Sitaram Yechury while briefing the press about the meeting.

“The Left Front is meeting on March 8 to finalise the other seats,” said Yechury.

In 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the Trinamool Congress had inflicted the worst kind of electoral defeat on the Left Front in its stronghold by winning 34 seats out of a total of 42, which are at stake in the state.
The Congress had won four seats–North Maldah, South Maldah, Behrampur, and Jangipur from where Congress nominee and son of former President Pranab Mukherjee, Abhijit Mukherjee had won by over 8,000 votes.

The Left Front lost all the 15 seats they had won in 2009 in Lok Sabha polls, but managed to win two seats–Raiganj and Murshidabad, which were earlier held by the Congress.

Talking about the broad strategy which the party would adopt for the coming Lok Sabha polls, Yechury said: “Our electoral tactics, as decided earlier, will be to ensure the defeat of the BJP alliance, and increase the strength of the Left Front and CPI-M in the Lok Sabha.”

“In order to ensure the maximum pooling of anti-BJP votes, state-level electoral tactics are being worked out. In states where the direct contest is between the Congress and the BJP, the CPI-M will contest one or two seats and campaign generally for the defeat of the BJP,” he said.

“In Tamil Nadu, discussions are on for the seat sharing with the DMK, while in Maharashtra, discussions are on with the NCP for contesting Dindori or Palghar seats where the CPI-M independently polls around a lakh of votes each,” he said.

“In Bihar, talks are being held with the RJD for contesting Ujiarpur seat in Samastipur district, while in Odisha, where the simultaneous elections will be held, the CPI-M will contest Bhubneswar Lok Sabha seat and a few assembly seats including its sitting Bonnai,” he said.