Kolkata, March 18 (IANS) The Trinamool Congress Friday went ahead on its own and released a list of 228 candidates for the upcoming West Bengal assembly elections, leaving only 64 seats for the Congress which was bargaining for more in their inconclusive seat-sharing talks.
Trinamool chief and Railway Minister Mamata Bannerjee told reporters here: “Today I am declaring the list of 228 candidates of Trinamool Congress. I could have announced the list of remaining 64 seats. But as an alliance scenario with the Congress is on, we are not announcing it. But we have the list other 64 candidates and if Congress doesn’t agree, then we will announce those also.”
The talks between union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Banerjee were inconclusive March 15 as both could not reach an agreement on seat-sharing for the April-May assembly elections in West Bengal.
The Trinamool has given its ally Socialist Unity Centre of India-Communist (SUCI-C) two seats. In its list of 228, Trinamool has fielded 34 female and 42 minority candidates.
“Doors of alliance with Congress are not closed yet. On the basis of the discussion we had last night (Thursday), I have left 64 seats for them. If the Congress leadership accepts it, I will be happy,” Banerjee said.
“I wanted an alliance, that is why I waited for a positive nod from the Congress from March 1-18. But I cannot wait forever because very few days are left for the process of first phase of elections. Although we are small parties, but we are the real party in West Bengal,” she said.
Earlier, in 2009 the Trinamool and the Congress, along with the SUCI-C, had joined hands before the Lok Sabha polls and decimated the Left Front that has been ruling the state since 1977. The alliance had bagged 26 of the state’s 42 seats in the Lok Sabha.
Both the Congress and the Trinamool decided to break the alliance for May 30 civic polls last year after failing to clinch a seat-sharing deal.