West Bengal: Left Front reaches ‘understanding’ with Congress

Kolkata: The alliance between Congress and its erstwhile rivals — the Left Front — has been virtually sealed with Left Front chairperson Biman Basu announcing a partial candidate list on Monday.

Left Front chairman Biman Basu unveils the list of the alliance’s candidates for the upcoming West Bengal Assembly elections in Kolkata on Monday.

Left Front chairman Biman Basu unveils the list of the alliance’s candidates for the upcoming West Bengal Assembly elections in Kolkata on Monday.

Mr. Basu said they are into “an understanding” with the Congress but it was not a formal alliance. The list of 116 seats out of 294 leaves enough blank seats to be filled later.

Focus on new faces in Left Front list

The Left Front’s list of 116 candidates for the forthcoming Assembly polls in West Bengal indicates an emphasis on new faces, with 68 new and young candidates — about 58 per cent of the list announced on Monday. Minorities comprised over 21 per cent, while 13 per cent of the candidates are women.

The notable inclusions on the list include Leader of Opposition and CPI (M) State Secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra who will be contesting from Narayangarh Assembly seat and senior CPI (M) leaders like Rabin Deb, Nepaldeb Bhattacharya, Ramchandra Dom and Samik Lahiri. Former Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee is not contesting.

Announcing the list, Left Front Chairman Biman Bose said the Left and Congress would “not share the same platform” during the campaign.

The announcement for candidates for only 39 per cent of the seats indicated that talks were under way with the Congress. The Left Front announced candidates for just four out of the 34 seats in Malda and Murshidabad — two districts considered Congress strongholds.