Politburo member and CPI (M)’s state secretary Surjya Kant Mishra on Monday urged the electorate in Chhattisgarh to vote for the Congress wherever the left is weak and unable to field candidates hinting at a possible alliance with the grand old party come 2019.
“Wherever the CPI (M) is not strong, I think people should support the Congress. In Chhattisgarh, we are contesting on three seats. On those seats, we should fight hard to defeat the communal BJP, but those seats where we don’t have any candidates, votes should go in favour of the Congress to stop the BJP from returning to power,” Mishra told journalists during a protest in front of the CBI office in Salt Lake area.
Chhattisgarh has 90-member Assembly and the polls are being held in two phases: on November 12 and 20. The votes will be counted on December 11.
With 2019 polls barely six months away, Mishra’s statement assumes importance hinting at a possible scenario where the left may support the Congress or could chalk out a common formula to maximise the anti-BJP votes in West Bengal.
Welcoming Mishra’s statement, Bengal Congress president Soumen Mitra said, “We are happy that he made this statement. In Bengal, if the CPI (M) wants to have some understanding with the Congress, then I will talk to the central leadership in Delhi.”
However, the BJP did not seem to show much interest in Mishra’s comment.
“No formula will work in West Bengal as people are fed up with both the TMC and the CPI (M) government. People want change and we expect good response from the people,” State BJP president Dilip Ghosh said.
The BJP is gearing up to target 22 Parliamentary seats out of 42 in Bengal. Currently, it has two Lok Sabha seats in the state. In 2014, Union ministers Babul Supriyo and SS Ahluwalia won from Asansol and Darjeeling, respectively.
The Trinamool Congress won 34 seats and the CPI (M) and the Congress won two seats each.