The Congress and the CPI(M) on Tuesday (November 17) chalked out a detailed plan to reach out to the politically crucial minority community of the state ahead of the 2021 assembly polls.

The CPI(M) and the Congress, which has decided to fight the next assembly polls as alliance partners, Tuesday night held a two-hour-long meeting to determine the strategy for the next assembly polls.

A senior state Congress leader said, “As a part of our outreach programme, apart from reaching out to the community leaders and eminent personalities from the minorities community, both the parties have decided to conduct special outreach programme on the National Minorities Day on December 18. We have chalked out a detailed plan.”

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Before the meeting, West Bengal PCC president Adhir Chowdhury and state Leader of the opposition Abdul Mannan met Muslim religious leader Toha Siddique and appealed to the community to stand by the secular forces.

According to sources, political equations in the poslarised state is set to witness significant changes as the sway of non-BJP parties over minorities, a key factor in several seats, appears to be set for a stiff challenge with Asaduddin Owaisi''s AIMIM announcing that it will contest Bengal assembly polls.

When asked about Owaisi''s plan to venture into West Bengal, Adhir Chowdhury said "AIMIM is nothing but the B-team of the BJP, whose sole aim is to divide the Muslim votes and cause damage to the secular parties".

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According to state Congress and CPI(M) sources, both the parties are concerned about AIMIM''s entry into Bengal as 34 out of the 76 seats it had won in the 2016 assembly polls as an alliance were from minority-dominated districts of Malda, Murshidabad, and North Dinajpur. These are districts that AIMIM is eyeing.

During the Congress and the CPI(M) meeting, it was decided to set up a joint core committee to look into the aspects of district-wise seat-sharing in the assembly polls.

It has also been decided to increase the number of joint rallies and programmes in the state