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Bengal Congress writes to Sonia Gandhi, seeks approval for talks with Siddiqui-led ISF for alliance | India News

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NEW DELHI: The West Bengal Congressional unit on Thursday sought approval from party chairwoman Sonia Gandhi to begin negotiations with the Indian Secular Front (ISF) led by Pirzada Abbas Siddiqui and form a grand alliance for the assembly elections. If the state unit gets the go-ahead, the forced state to vote would witness a three-way competition between the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC), its main rival BJP and the grand alliance of Congress, CPI (M) and the ISF.
The leader of the state Congress, Abdul Mannan, who is also the leader of the opposition in the assembly, wrote a letter to Sonia Gandhi and said that an “unofficial dialogue” with the ISF had already begun and that the president of the WBPCC, Adhir Chowdhury, visited Siddiqui of the Furfura Sharif shrine.
“The addition of the ISF to the Left-Congress alliance may change the rules of the game in the next assembly elections … I have started an unofficial dialogue with the ISF and the PCC president visited Siddiqui’s house recently. He has discussed the issue with me and is seeking my help due to my personal relationship with the Pirzada Siddiqui family for decades, “said Mannan.
CPI (M) politburo member Md Salim also started talks with Siddiqui, he said.
Mannan further said: “He (Siddiqui) is popular for his speaking skills among Muslims, as well as Dalits and Tribes,” adding that thousands of people gather at his meetings in minority, tribal and Dalit areas.
Stating that 30 percent of the state’s population are Muslims, he said that 90 percent are Bengali-speaking and are the traditional vote bank of Congress.
The Muslim cleric has called the congressional move a “positive development.” Pirzada, 34, said: “It is a positive development. But it is too early to comment on the subject. .. Let’s see how things develop. ”
In a development that could alter the political equations in highly polarized West Bengal, Pirzada Abbas Siddiqui, who heads the Furfura Sharif in Hooghly district, presented his political team on January 21 claiming that he wanted to be the kingmaker after the Assembly elections scheduled for April. May.
The influential cleric, who became the first religious leader in West Bengal to step into politics, had said that the Indian Secular Front plans to participate in the elections.
La Pirzada had also overflowed with confidence in a possible alliance with the Left-Congress alliance.
Siddiqui had said in recent interviews that the Mamata Banerjee government has done “more harm than good” to Muslims by creating a divide between Hindus and Muslims.
He had claimed that his newly launched political team would prove to be the “kingmaker” in the state and dismissed as “unfounded” the accusation that he has decided to launch the electoral battle to cut off TMC’s Muslim vote base, which has been nurtured. assiduously. by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for the past ten years.
(With contributions from the agency)

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