Congress MP hints at alliance with CPI-M in Bengal


Kolkata: Asserting that defeat of the ruling Trinamool Congress was imperative for the welfare of West Bengal, Congress MP Mani Shankar Aiyar on Wednesday hinted at a possible alliance with the CPI-M for the 2016 assembly polls.

Mani Shankar Aiyar

“It is now an established fact that the Trinamool has a tacit understanding with the BJP and so long as the Mamata Banerjee government is here, welfare of the minorities and of the entire Bengal is not possible,” Aiyar told media persons here.

Aiyar, along with a host of Congress leaders including actor-turned-politician Raj Babbar, participated in the party’s minority conference here.

Asked if the Congress was open to an alliance with the Communist Party of India-Marxist for the assembly polls, Aiyar replied: “What we need to do is defeat the Trinamool. And to do that whatever is necessary the party leadership will reflect on that.”

“What is necessary is that the secular forces must come together for protecting secularism,” added Aiyar.

However, Congress general secretary Shakil Ahmad said the party at the moment had no proposal of an alliance. “So far as my knowledge is concerned, the party has no such proposal in consideration,” said Ahmad.

Ahmad, however, remained noncommittal when asked if the Congress was ruling out such an alliance.

“It is for the party high command to decide on a political arrangement with another party,” added Ahmad.

Earlier, CPI-M leader and former state minister Gautam Deb hinted at an “understanding” with the Congress, saying: “There was a need for a greater alliance with other like-minded political parties to defeat the Trinamool.”

CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury though had ruled out aligning with the Congress.