Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday (November 26) held a virtual meeting with Bengal unit leaders and discussed various aspects of the party's alliance with the Left Front for 2021 assembly polls.

According to the state Congress leadership, Gandhi enquired about the seat-sharing deal between the two parties.

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During the meeting, the entire state Congress leadership favoured the party's alliance with the Left, but opinions of senior members differed over seat-sharing.

At the meeting, the Congress high command took special note of the depleting vote share of the party, which came down to 6.29% in 2019 against BJP’s 40% and Trinamool’s 43%. Congress party Lok Sabha leader, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury proposed a tie-up with arch-rival CPM and other Left parties, which had recorded a 7.59% vote share.

A senior party leader said, “We have told Rahul Gandhi ji that the entire state unit is keen on forging an alliance with the Left, but seat-sharing talks were yet to start. The Left-Congress alliance in Bengal is the best possible option for defeating the TMC and the BJP.”

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In 2016, both the Left and the grand old party had fought together and bagged 76 seats in the 294-member assembly. The CPI(M)-led Left Front later walked out of the alliance. During the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the two sides failed to reach an agreement on seat sharing.

However, the two parties have now decided to form an alliance again for 2021 polls, likely to be held in April-May.