Alliance call to be taken up after LS poll is announced: CP Joshi

Strengthening the Congress in West Bengal would be the party`s main priority, AICC General Secretary CP Joshi said.

Kolkata: Strengthening the Congress in West Bengal would be the party`s main priority and the issue of electoral alliance would be considered by a high-level committee only after the next parliamentary election was announced, AICC General Secretary CP Joshi said.

"Our main priority is to strengthen Congress in West Bengal. Electoral alliance will be discussed by the AK Antony committee only after the poll is announced. We will reveal our strategy when the Lok Sabha poll is announced," Joshi said.

He was speaking to reporters after chairing his first-ever meeting of the WBPCC Executive Committee after his appointment as in-charge of West Bengal.

Joshi, however, avoided questions over his party`s future relation with the Trinamool Congress in the state, since Mamata Banerjee was claiming that Congress has to visit the state after the Lok Sabha poll seeking alms.

"We had fought the last Lok Sabha and Assembly elections with the Trinamool Congress to defeat the CPI-M. It was part of our strategy. We had achieved our target. Now we will avail every opportunity including the coming panchayat election to strengthen our party."

On repeated attack by Mamata Banerjee and the Trinamool Congress leadership against the State Election Commission, Joshi said, "They should give due respect to the constitutional bodies and entire democratic process, besides delivering a proper administration for the benefit of people."

"Nobody should defy any constitutional body and disobey democratic process which in turn would be an attack on democracy," Joshi said.

To a question about measures to be taken to strengthen the Congress in the state, Joshi declined to divulge details saying, "Time will say how."

"The Congress has to be self-reliant and independent in the field of electoral battle.

The number is most vital in electoral politics," Joshi, the former railway minister, said.
Joshi believed Congress would be able to turn around in the state.

To another question, Joshi said that Rahul Gandhi had taken steps to revive the party`s youth wing in the state.

Joshi, accompanied by AICC secretary Shakeel Ahmed Khan discussed various issues including panchayat election during a long deliberation for over three hours in the state headquarter of the party.


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