WB Cong for poll truck with Left, but Rahul prefers Didi

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Old 02-Feb-2016
Post WB Cong for poll truck with Left, but Rahul prefers Didi

The Congress is doing a tightrope walk on the issue of electoral alliance in poll-bound West Bengal with no decision emerging even at the end of second round of consultations party vice-president Rahul Gandhi held with state leaders.
The West Bengal Congress Committee, led by state chief Adhir Ranjan Choudhry, today met Rahul, with the majority favouring either an open or a tactical alliance with the Left Front to take on the ruling Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress.
“We have discussed what would suit the party best and we will keep the discussions going. Soon, we will take a call on the alliance issue,” Choudhry said. While the state unit prefers to go along side the Left on grounds that the Congress and Left have both been victims of Trinamool Congress’ high handedness, the Congress vice-president personally prefers to ally with the TMC chief with whom he has a personal equation.
The central leadership has its gaze fixed not just on the impending Assembly elections but also on the 2019 Lok Sabha polls when alliance issues will matter much more. The TMC, the party feels, would be a better long-term partner than the Left. Even within the state unit, there are minority voices favouring a tie-up with Mamata.
As for the Left, many senior central leaders from Kerala are opposed to an alliance with them in Bengal on grounds that the Congress has to fight the LDF in the Kerala polls. Party veteran from Kerala AK Antony is learnt to be against any pact with the Left in Bengal.
With the divisions wide open, the Congress’ mind is far from being made up as party spokesperson Abhiskeh Manu Singhvi said today,” These are mere consultations. No decision has yet been taken. As and when it is taken, it will be made public.”
Rahul has been meeting state leaders of all poll-bound regions to get a view on what they think of potential political marriages.

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