Cong, TMC unite, but fail to defeat LF candidate

Although the Congress and Trinamool Congress officially parted ways after the latter quit the UPA, the two parties joined hands unsuccessfully Wednesday in a bid to defeat Left Front in a contest for the post of zilla sabhadhitipati in a north Bengal district.

The post was eventually filled up by draw of lots after both sides were locked in a tie. Left Front candidate Lovely Chowdhury was elected to the post.

Congress members of the North Dinajpur zilla parishad forged an alliance with the TMC to contest the posts for sabhadhipati and the saha-sabhadhipati, although the district Congress leadership denied the news of such a tie-up.

Of the 26 zilla parishad seats in the district, the Left Front won 13, the Congress eight and TMC five in the recently held state-wide panchayat election.

With the Congress and TMC coming together, the alliance mustered 13 members, the same as the Left Front has. As the votes were tied, the posts of zilla sabhadhipatis were filled up by a lottery.

Trinamool Congress district president Amal Acharya said, "They reached an agreement with the Congress to keep the Left Front away after the two parties decided to hold the post of the Zilla Sabhadhipati for one year alternately."

The development came even as the Congress MP from the district and Union Minister Deepa Dasmunshi had warned that the alliance would be harmful for the Congress in the district.

"We have always stated that the PCC does not want any alliance with the Trinamool. I have heard that our elected zilla parishad members have forged an alliance with the Congress. I have tried my best to prevent them from doing so as it sends a wrong message to the public. I have left the matter to the district party leadership," she had said.

Mohit Sengupta, the district Congress president, denied any alliance with the TMC, but said, "If they vote for our candidate for the post of sabhadhipati, what can we do?"

... contd.

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