Left Front faces tough battle in West Bengal: Karat (Lead)

April 14th, 2009 - 6:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, April 14 (IANS) Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat Tuesday conceded that West Bengal’s ruling Left Front (LF) will face a tough battle in the Lok Sabha polls in the state after the Congress-Trinamool Congress pact but hoped it will win majority of seats.
“My party’s assessment is that we’ll have a tough battle in this election. One reason is the alliance between the Trinamool Congress and the Congress,” Karat said at an interaction at the Kolkata Press Club.

He, however, said the CPI-M-led LF had faced similar situations in the past when oppositions parties had come together without forming any formal alliances.

The Congress and the Trinamool Congress have entered into a poll alliance for the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal. While Trinamool will contest on 27 constituencies, the Congress has fielded candidates for 14. The Trinamool’s ally Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI) is fighting the remaining seat.

Asked how many seats the Left parties would win in West Bengal, Karat said: “We will get a decisive majority of seats in West Bengal.”

Asked if the Nandigram violence could be a potent issue in the polls, Karat said: “I don’t think the elections will be decided on only one issue.”

He said Lok Sabha elections were determined by a mix of national issues, the central government’s record and its policies as well as state issues.

Polling in West Bengal will be held in three phases April 30, May 7 and May 13. Results would be declared May 16.

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