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