Unhappy Congress seeks more time from TMC

Trinamool Congress has made a unilateral decision to announce a list of candidates for the WB polls.

Last Updated: Mar 19, 2011, 13:52 PM IST

New Delhi: Taken by surprise, Congress
on Saturday said it has sought more time to resolve the differences
with its ally Trinamool Congress which has made a unilateral
decision to announce a list of candidates for the West Bengal
Assembly polls.

"This is a new situation... new development. The party
central leadership will discuss the issue in detail and then
take a decision," Congress Working Committee member-in charge
for West Bengal Shakeel Ahmad said when asked how the
party will respond to its allies move.

Making no effort to hide the party`s displeasure over
the Trinamool Congress (TMC) move, Ahmad said, "Our
discussions for seat sharing had remained inconclusive, hence
it was told that we will discuss the issue again. We were
seeking more time to resolve the differences on the number and
nature of seats to be contented by each party.”

"However, now an announcement has already been made
(by TMC). We have to see how we respond to the new
development," he said.

Party sources said that West Bengal PCC president
Manas Bhuniya will be arriving here to hold talks with senior
Congress leaders over the issue.

However, any decision by Congress is likely only after
Holi which falls tomorrow. Party president Sonia Gandhi, who
is in London for a week, will arrive tomorrow evening.

The sources said fresh talks would be held between TMC
chief and senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee in a day or
two to break the impasse as there is a realisation that this
is a historic opportunity for both the parties to oust the
Left from West Bengal. Gandhi is learnt to be strongly in
favour of the alliance.

Trinamool Congress yesterday 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.

TMC chief Mamata Banerjee had 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."

PTI