CPM speeds up seat-sharing talks with allies

THE CPM state committee on Sunday instructed Left Front partners to wrap up the seat-sharing talks of panchayat elections by March 23.

Left Front chairman Biman Bose met the district leadership of 17 districts and urged them to complete the process as early as possible so that based on their reports, the final list of seat sharing could be declared by March 28. "There should not be disunity at any level. We have asked all Left Front district units to sink misunderstandings among allies and cobble up a total unity to give a fight to the Trinamool Congress," Bose told mediapersons after the meeting.

Though the poll schedule has not been announced with the Trinamool Congress government and State Election Commission locked in a bitter quarrel over the number of poll phases, it is most likely that the elections will be held next month.

Bose said seat-sharing talks with allies in districts are in three stages — gram panchayat, panchayat samiti and zilla parishad. While the process is complete in Bankura district, it is moving at a snail's pace in Jalpaiguri, North 24-Parganas, East Midnapore, Purulia and West Midnapore, he said. In some of the panchayat samity and gram panchayat like Jalpaiguri's Dabgram and Fulbari, the district leadership has not yet started the seat-sharing talks.

Asked about the reason for such a delay, Bose said due to the Assembly and Parliament session most of the MPs and MLAs were busy attending the Houses, resulting in delay in the negotiations.

This year, the number of seats in all the three tiers of panchayat has increased — from roughly 50,000 to 58,813 seats — due to delimitation as well as increase in number of electorate, so the Left Front has instructed all its partners not to be rigid in seat-sharing.

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