Kolkata: Dictating terms to Congress,
Trinamool Congress Friday unilaterally announced its list of
228 candidates for the election to 294-member West Bengal
Assembly and set a Monday deadline for Congress to accept the
64 seats allotted to it.
Stung by Trinamool`s action, Congress said it would
decide whether to contest the 64 seats its ally allotted to it
or all the 294 assembly seats in the state.
Adopting a take-it-or-leave-it stand and brushing aside
Congress` plea for more time to finalize a seat-sharing deal,
TC chief Mamata Banerjee said "we will be happy if Congress
fields its candidates in 64 constituencies after seat
adjustment. Else, we will announce our candidates in those
seats by Monday."
Announcing the candidates` list, Banerjee told a press
conference that she released the list after her discussions
with Congress central leadership till last night "and what was
agreed upon there".
Criticising the Congress buying time for the seat
sharing deal, the Railway Minister said "there is hardly any
time left. We have to now go for affidavits and other poll
formalities. We have to ensure that nomination forms reach our
candidates in remote areas".
The Trinamool supremo said she had waited for long
"and whenever the Congress high command desired, we have
responded and attended talks".
However, in Delhi, Congress spokesman Janardhan Dwivedi
told reporters that his party had sought more time to firm up
seat- sharing agreement with Trinamool in West Bengal.
"We want an alliance with Trinamool Congress in West
Bengal but further discussion is required. We want some more
discussion and for that more time is required," Dwivedi said.
The TC did not allocate any of the 11 seats in Kolkata,
including the contentious Kolkata Port seat, to Congress.
Congress has been claiming the Kolkata Port seat arguing
that it has a sitting candidate in Kavitirtha which has been
renamed Kolkata Port after delimitation.
Dwivedi said "there are different categories (of seats).
Some seats are good, some are not good. Some constituencies
are considered very good or not good like that. So, actually
some more discussions are required."
Reacting to Trinamool`s unilaterally releasing the list,
Congress general secretary in charge of party affairs in West
Bengal Shakeel Ahmed said in Kolkata that the party would take
a decision whether it will contest in only the 64 seats
allotted to it by Trinamool Congress or all the 294 seats.
"The top leadership of the party will consider and take a
decision on it," he said.
Asked about the deadline set by Banerjee for Congress to
take a decision on the 64 seats by Monday, Ahmed said
"Congress leadership will decide whether it will field
candidates in 64 seats or all the 294 Assembly seats".
He said it would have been better "if we had jointly
announced the candidates` lists".