Kolkata: Ruling out the possibility of an alliance with the Trinamool Congress, the Congress on Monday demanded deployment of adequate central paramilitary forces for the peaceful conduct of the upcoming rural body polls in West Bengal.
"We have learnt our lessons from our previous alliance with the Trinamool. You don`t repeat the same mistake over and over. We want to make it clear that the Congress will be contesting the panchayat polls alone. We are fully prepared and firm on our decision," state Congress president Pradip Bhattacharya told media persons here.
Conceding that the Congress was relegated to the third position behind the Trinamool and the Left Front in the 2011 assembly polls in the state, Bhattacharya said his party is now in the reckoning in the wake of the recently concluded by-polls in three constituencies.
"In the assembly polls, the contest was only between the Trinamool and the Left Front. But in the by-polls, there has been a parity between all the three major forces. Our result in the by-polls has not been so bad as to seek an alliance with any party," he said.
Trinamool, Left Front and the Congress bagged one seat each in the Feb 23 assembly by-polls.
All the three seats were won by the Congress in alliance with the Trinamool in the May 2011 assembly elections.
The alliance between the Congress and the Trinamool snapped, both at the centre and in the states, in September last year.
Demanding that the panchayat polls be held in a phased manner spread over three-four days, Bhattacharya asked for adequate number of central paramilitary forces for a peaceful election.
"The state police neither have the adequate numbers nor the means to conduct the panchayat polls peacefully. Instead of feeling embarrassed, the state government should ask for deployment of sufficient number of central forces," he said.
The party has also started the process of identifying its candidates for the polls which are yet to be announced.