WB Polls: Cong to field candidates in two seats given to SUCI
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Last Updated: Friday, April 08, 2011, 23:56
New Delhi: Congress on Friday announced candidates for two more seats in West Bengal which were earlier allotted to SUCI by Trinamool Congress.

Under the seat sharing alliance in the state, Trinamool was to contest 227 seats, Congress 65 and SUCI 02. The seats were given to SUCI from the Trinamool's quota of 229 seats.

The Congress leadership was under the impression that as the three parties are part of the alliance, there would be no friendly contests and they will abide by the alliance discipline of not fielding candidates in each other's constituencies.

However, SUCI declared its candidates in more than two dozen seats held by Congress, prompting the latter to field candidates in the constituencies allotted for SUCI.

The list of two candidates released by the Congress Election Committee today said that Sujit Patwari will contest from the reserved Kultali Assembly constituency and Professor Manoranjan Haider from Jay Nagar seat.

"Our alliance is with Mamta Banerjee. But we also thought that SUCI was also part of the alliance and hence it would not field candidates in constituencies where Congress was contesting. They, however, announced candidates for 27 to 28 such seats. As such we also decided to contest on the two seats which were given to SUCI," party in-charge for West Bengal Shakeel Ahmed said.

With this, the Congress is now contesting on 67 seats in the state. The alliance deal between the two parties was earlier sealed on March 21 after tough posturings from both sides as Congress blinked in the war of nerves as Trinamool Congress conceded only 65 seats to it against the demand of 90.

The script in West Bengal appeared to have been written by Mamata, widely perceived to be the next Chief Minister of the state, unlike in Tamil Nadu where Congress President Sonia Gandhi had called the shots to extract a better deal from a reluctant DMK chief M Karunanidhi.

Mamata's virtual stance of "take-it-or-leave it" had forced Congress to pick up the bargain offered by her and on her own terms as she had unilaterally announced her candidates for 228 of the total 294 seats last week, taking Congress by surprise.

A section in Congress believes that Banerjee should have prevailed upon her ally SUCI not to field candidates from the seats of Congress.


First Published: Friday, April 08, 2011, 23:56

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