Dipankar Bhattacharya (PTI file photo)
KOLKATA: Describing the Congress as a “big letdown” for the Grand Alliance, which failed to form government in Bihar, CPI(ML) Liberation general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya hoped the party would adopt a “more realistic” approach during its seat-sharing talks with the Left Front in West Bengal.
Bhattacharya said he was sure that the grand old party, too, would be reviewing its poor show in Bihar and be reasonable while sealing a seat-sharing deal in politically sensitive Bengal, where the saffron brigade is making all efforts to clinch power.
Citing the poll results in Bihar, where Congress, as a partner of the Grand Alliance, fared poorly, Bhattacharya said in an interview, “The party shouldn’t be in the driver’s seat in the CPM-Congress alliance in West Bengal”.
As part of the seat-sharing deal in the Mahagathbandhan in theBihar elections, Congress fielded its candidates in 70 out of 243 seats in the state and managed to bag 19.
It isn’t just in Bihar that the performance of Congress has dipped, the grand old party scored low in Lok Sabha elections since 2014, as well as in many state polls in the recent years. In UP, where Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav came together in 2017 to fight BJP, Congress could win only seven seats, while Samajwadi Party emerged victorious in 47 segments.
In Assam, where elections are due in March-April next year, Congress, which had been ruling the state since 2001, lost power in 2016 when its strength slipped to 26 in the 126-member House.
CPI(ML) (Liberation), on the other hand, has performed well in Bihar, winning 12 out of the 19 assembly constituencies it contested. Even CPI and CPM bagged two seats each.
The NDA, due to the stupendous results of BJP, triumphed in 125 assembly segments, three more than the magic figure of 122 in the 243-member Bihar House.
“The Congress was a big letdown for the Grand Alliance in Bihar. The seat-sharing arrangement should have been a more realistic one. The success rate of the Congress is the lowest. I am sure the party, too, would be reviewing its performance,” Bhattacharya said. Buoyed by its performance in Bihar, the radical left- wing outfit is preparing to enter the fray in Bengal again, this time with more vigour.