Congress hoping for ‘breakthrough’ in Bengal poll talks with Trinamool

March 20th, 2011 - 12:12 pm ICT by ANI  

Mamata Banerjee New Delhi, Mar. 20 (ANI): The Congress party has said that it is still keen on having a seat-sharing alliance with the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, and hopes an agreement will be reached to unseat the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist-led government in the state.

Congress general secretary Shakeel Ahmed, however, has hinted that the party could also consider tie-ups with smaller regional parties if talks with the TMC fail.

He told media persons here that the TMC was the Congress party’s ‘first choice’.

“If no consensus is reached on seat sharing arrangements with Trinamool Congress, the Congress party would consider a tie up with the smaller parties in West Bengal which are seeking an alliance with us,” Ahmed said.

He added: “Although, we hope that in the coming days a consensus will be achieved with the Trinamool Congress through negotiations, as of now we would just like to say that the talks have been inconclusive. We need some more time to arrive at a decision.”

The Congress is eyeing at least one-third of the seats in West Bengal.

On Friday, Banerjee allotted 64 seats to the Congress while releasing a list of 228 TMC candidates for the upcoming polls.

The move has ruffled feathers in the Congress. Political analysts say the deadlock would hamper their election campaign strategies.

The state will have elections in six phases. The first phase of voting will take place on April 18, second phase on April 23, third phase on April 27, fourth phase on May 3, fifth phase on May 7 and sixth phase on May 10. (ANI)

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