Election Results

Pressure on TMC: Congress Ready for Talk, Not Willing to Blink First

M Reyaz BeyondHeadlines

New Delhi: After an aggressive approach helped Congress secure seats in Tamil Nadu, the grand old party appears in no mood to blink first in Bengal as well.

In fact, Shakeel Ahmed, in-charge of party affairs in West Bengal, hinted in the media today that the Congress party is ready to fight elections alone if negotiation fails.

When asked about TMC’s announcement of 228 seats, leaving only 64 for the bigger partner in the centre, Ahmed replied: “We are preparing three lists – for 64 seats, 90 seats and all 294 seats …as a political party must have candidates for all seats.”

Mamata Banerjee and Sonia Gandhi at a rally in Bengal

He, however, reiterated, “Congress still wants the alliance” and that the state unit will abide whatever decision the high command takes.

On Friday, TMC had unilaterally announced names of 228 candidates with a stalemate in the alliance.  The decision has now been put on hold.

Earlier in the morning, Pranab Mukharjee met Sonia Gandhi, who still appears to be in favour of an alliance.

Ahmed has still left doors opened though:  “The people of West Bengal wanted the Left to be defeated. We wanted to have an alliance with Trinamool Congress.”

Sounding hopeful of an “amicable solution realizing each other’s strength and weakness” Ahmed added, “every party wants to corner as many seats as possible.”

But when asked if the Congress was ready to blink first, he cleared, “There is no question of anybody or any party blinking first.”


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