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ISF wants AIMIM in alliance; Left, Congress refuse

ISF wants AIMIM in alliance; Left, Congress refuse

Asaduddin Owaisi had expressed his desire to contest in the upcoming West Bengal State Assembly Election. He had said that AIMIM would tie-up with ISF.

The seat-sharing talks between the Left Front, Congress and Indian Secular Front seem to have hit another hurdle with the latter asking for Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM to be a part of it.

Owaisi had expressed his desire to contest in the upcoming West Bengal State Assembly Election. He had said that AIMIM would tie-up with Pirzada Abbas Siddiqui’s ISF.

Both the Left Front and Congress had shown no interest in having AIMIM. And with Congress’ staunch attacks on Owaisi’s party after the Bihar polls last year, it became apparent that the Hyderabad-headquartered party would find no place in the alliance.

But Siddiqui has argued in favour of AIMIM, saying that without them Congress’ fate in West Bengal could be similar to what happened in Bihar. It is believed that AIMIM had cut minority votes to deter Congress and RJD’s chance.

The Pirzada’s proposal further sent the seat-sharing discussion with the Left Front and Congress down into muddy waters. He had given an ultimatum on Tuesday that if a solution was not found sooner, ISF would go alone in the polls.

While the Left has been accommodative, Congress has taken a strong arm approach in front of the ISF in terms of sharing seats for the grand alliance in the upcoming West Bengal Assembly Election.

The Left parties are believed to have compromised 27 seats to the ISF. CPIM alone have spared 20. Congress has so far agreed to sacrifice eight seats to the the ISF.

“We don’t have cut money but we have manpower. That’s why we can create problems anywhere! If everything is sorted by February 28, we’ll bring a sea of people. But without me no one will be there,” Siddiqui said.

At a rally against the new farm laws in Kolkata’s Dharmatala on Tuesday, he further added, “If you accept my friendship I’ll keep you in my heart. But if you stab me then what?”

It was reported earlier Siddiqui’s ISF had demanded a minimum of 45 seats after starting negotiations from 72, asking Congress to sacrifice some of its winning seats in Murshidabad, Malda and South 24 Parganas.

The West Bengal Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury then served a stern ultimatum that their won’t be any compromise from its end for seats in Murshidabad and Malda region. They also disagreed to spare seats in South 24 Parganas that they had won in 2016.

Reportedly this hardcore stance from Chowdhury has not gone down well with Congress and Bengal’s main opposition leader Abdul Mannan. The latter has let his disenchantment known in a letter to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.

The party supremo had directed the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee (WBPCC) to complete seat-sharing deal by January 31. But with Mannan and Chowdhury failing to reach a consensus, the All India Congres Committee (AICC) may take matters in its own hand now.




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