Six days before the first rally of the Left-Congress alliance in the brigade ground in Kolkata, the parties are yet to finalise the seat-sharing arrangement.
As per sources, chief patron of Furfura Sharif Abbas Siddiqui demanded 80 seats for his newly formed party — Indian Secular Front. As both the Left and the Congress flatly rejected the demand, he scaled it down to 40. “We have decided to give the IFS 20-25 seats. A few of these will go from our account and the remaining the Congress has to spare,” a Left leader said.
There is still reluctance among many members of the alliance on including the IFS. “This is probably the first time in Bengal’s history that we are aligning with a religious party,” a CPI leader said.
For the members of the alliance, Mr. Siddiqui’s inclusion is a last resort to make themselves relevant in an increasingly bipolar fight between the TMC and the BJP.
“We are trying to have a broad-based arrangement and we believe bringing the IFS on board our votebank will only expand,” senior Congress leader Pradeep Bhattacharya said.