The Congress-CPI(M) proposed alliance seems to be falling apart in West Bengal over seat-sharing, and the Left front has already announced the seats for 38 candidates in the state, however, the left-front maintains that there are still chances for dialogue with the Congress party on the alliance.
The CPI(M)-Congress seat-sharing talks failed after the latter accused the Left of insulting it by unilaterally announcing 38 candidates in the state, which has 42 Lok Sabha seats. Congress is on another track of losing another ally in another state after Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, for not being able to accommodate on seat-sharing formula with regional parties in their alliance.
Following the development, the stage is set for a four-cornered contest in which the main contenders -- the Trinamool Congress and the BJP - are in an advantageous position to consolidate the voters in their favour.
According to Trinamool Congress sources, the breakdown augurs well for the party, which would be in a better position to bag the nearly 30-per cent minority votes in the state in the absence of another credible "secular force" in the state.
Leaders of both the Congress and the CPI(M) agreed that the failure to clinch a seat-sharing deal would actually be a negative factor for both the parties and they might not win more than one or two seats in the state.
"It is true that elections will now be more polarised between the TMC and the BJP. But the CPI(M) needs to understand that it has to be more flexible while working in an alliance," state Congress president Somen Mitra told PTI.
CPI(M) central committee leader Sujan Chakraborty, also echoed Mitra's views but said the Congress should have been more active in order to seal the deal. "The people of the state will decide whether we were right or wrong (in breaking the alliance). Despite a lot of hurdles, we had tried to provide a secular alternative along with the Congress, but it had other plans," Chakraborty said.
The electoral history of Bengal shows that it is the ruling party and the main opposition which become the main beneficiaries in the event of a four-cornered contest.
(with PTI inputs)