No Rajya Sabha poll this time to spoil Adhir Ranjan’s party

Agencies. Updated: 9/13/2020 6:43:41 PM National

WBPCC chief is keen on striking an alliance with Left for assembly elections

Kolkata: Newly-elected WBPCC chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, whose appointment to the important post has made the CPI(M) visibly happy, is said to be glad that no Rajya Sabha election is slated to take place in the state before next year’s assembly general elections.

The next round of elections for Rajya Sabha vacancies from West Bengal will take place only in August 2023 and that is good news for Chowdhury who is keen on striking up an alliance with the CPI(M)-led Left parties for the assembly elections.

Rajya Sabha elections held in the state in August 2017 (six seats) and then in April 2018 (five vacancies) had both left a sour taste for Chowdhury who was then in his first stint as the WBPPC chief. Congress candidates P Bhattacharya and Abhishek Manu Singhvi got elected to the Rajya Sabha from West Bengal in 2017 and 2018, respectively, with support from the ruling TMC.

On both occasions there was talk about the two largest opposition parties in the state coming together with the Congress supporting a CPI(M) candidate. However, the Congress high command had other ideas and ultimately candidates put up by the Congress, the largest opposition party in the state, won the polls with the ruling TMC transferring its spare votes in favour of the Congress candidate.

In the latest Rajya Sabha elections in the state held earlier this year, Congress MLAs did vote for CPI(M) candidate Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya and ensured his victory. Ironically, late Somen Mitra, whose opposition to the TMC was considered more muted compared to Adhir, was the WBPCC chief then.

“The naming of Adhir Chowdhury as the state Congress president has given a ray of hope to all those in the state who are looking forward for an alliance between Congress and CPI(M) for deliverance from the BJP government at the Centre and the TMC-led state government,” CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Mohhamed Salim said.

Sujan Chakraborty, leader of the CPI(M) in West Bengal Assembly, said the BJP has been growing in strength in the state because of the policies followed by the ruling Trinamool Congress. “With Adhir Chowdhury at the helm at WBPCC, Congress party and the Left parties together will throw a befitting challenge to the communal BJP and autocratic TMC,” Chakraborty said.

CPI(M) and Congress party had agreed for seat adjustment in the 2016 Assembly general elections also. This time the two parties want to go one step further and form an alliance before the assembly polls.

Left and Congress, however, failed to arrive at an understanding in the 2019 parliament general elections following disagreement over some of the constituencies.

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