Cong focus on 100 Bengal Assembly seats

The Congress is planning to concentrate on about a hundred Assembly seats in West Bengal but its real objective is to get as many winnable seats as it can during the seat-sharing negotiations with the Trinamul Congress. This is because its main target is to win 40 to 50 seats and share power with the Mamata Banerjee-led party.

Though the Congress has realised its real strength in West Bengal after the poor showing in last month’s civic polls, its performance could be improved only if the two fight together.
Their unity can create history this time and make Ms Mamata Banerjee a chief minister.
But the UPA allies feel that Ms Banerjee can become chief minister even if the Trinamul Congress fights the polls separately. The trend against the Marxists has already set in. “In West Bengal, the Congress needs Trinamul more than the latter,” an ally leader pointed out. But the Congress insiders are reading the situation differently.
“The Trinamul Congress would be a loser if the two parties fight the elections separately. Moreover, nobody should under estimate the Left’s strength despite the strong anti-incumbency wave against the ruling Marxists,” a Congress official said.
For the Trinamul Congress, the Left has been its principal political adversary but at the same time, it does not want the Congress to gain politically. Therefore, Ms Banerjee is fighting the battle on two fronts. One, against the Left Front overtly and another against the Congress covertly.
The Congress has a base in north-west Bengal and it expects Ms Banerjee would keep this in mind during the seat-sharing talks.
According to the sources, the Congress is planning to make Mr Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the sitting Lok Sabha member, a chairman of the election campaign committee.
Newly-appointed West Bengal PCC chief Manas Bhunia has to set the state party in order before beginning a bargaining game for seats with the Trinamul and boost the morale of the rank and file who see the Mamata Banerjee-led party as the real Congress.
Mr Bhunia’s leadership quality will be seen in the way he stems the exodus of party leaders to the Trinamul Congress.

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