Kolkata, March 20 (IANS) The Congress leadership Sunday said it was not ready to be pushed into a decision over announcing names of candidates for the West Bengal assembly elections, adding they can’t help it if the Trinamool Congress, an ally in the central government, announces candidates for all 294 constituencies.
The Trinamool Friday announced a list of 228 candidates, indicating that it wanted the Congress to field its candidates in the remaining 64 seats.
The Trinamool said if the Congress did not declare its candidates by Monday, it would go ahead and field nominees in these 64 constituencies.
“We are not in a hurry as there are lots of things that need to be discussed and looked into,” Congress general secretary Shakeel Ahmed told IANS over phone from New Delhi.
“We have prepared three lists of candidates one of 64 candidates, one of 90 candidates and another of 294 candidates. Things will start moving tomorrow (Monday) onwards. The last date for filling nominations for the first phase of elections is March 31,”
Delivering a severe blow to the proposed alliance with the Congress for the upcoming West Bengal assembly elections, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee Friday announced a list of 228 candidates, leaving only 64 constituencies for the Congress, which was bargaining for more.
Banerjee also set a March 21 deadline for the Congress to announce its list of candidates for the 64 constituencies, failing which the Trinamool will announce its candidates from these constituencies.
When asked what the Congress will do if Trinamool announced its list of candidates for the remaining 64 assembly constituencies, Ahmed said: “What can we do if she announces the rest of the seats. While announcing 228 seats she didn’t consult us. A political party should always be ready for any eventuality.”
When a state Congress leader was asked if they will try to forge an alliance with smaller parties if an alliance with Trinamool doesn’t work out, the leader said: “All the options are open, lets see what happens. Because we believe that there cannot be any timeline between two political parties.”
The six-phase assembly election in West Bengal will begin April 18 and end May 10. The results will be declared May 13.