Congress’ Bengal camp defends alliance with Left-ISF, says “do not follow BJP agenda”

A day after senior Congress leader Anand Sharma criticised the Congress-Left-Indian Secular Front (ISF) alliance in West Bengal in the run up to the state polls, state Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury defended the tie-up and said that the Congress and the Left are leading a secular alliance to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party.

“Know you facts, Anand Sharma ji. The CPI(M)-led Left Front is leading the secular alliance in West Bengal of which Congress is an integral part. We are determined to defeat BJP’s communal & divisive politics and an autocratic regime. The Congress has got its full share of seats. Left Front is allocating seats from its share to the newly formed Indian Secular Front-ISF. Your choice to call the decision of CPM-led front ‘communal’ is only serving the polarising agenda of BJP,” Chowdhury said on Twitter.

While referring Muslim cleric Abbas Siddiqui’s Indian Secular Front (ISF) participation in the alliance, Anand Sharma had on Monday objected to the alliance, stating said that core ideology cannot be compromised and that the Congress can’t be selective in fighting communalists.

Sharma said: “Congress’ alliance with parties like ISF and other such forces militates against the core ideology of the party and Gandhian and Nehruvian secularism, which forms the soul of the party. These issues need to be approved by the CWC. Congress cannot be selective in fighting communalists but must do so in all its manifestations, irrespective of religion and colour.”

Chowdhury, also the leader of opposition in Lok Sabha, responded to the statement and said that “those who are committed to fight against BJP’s venomous communalism should support the Congress and campaign for the party in five states rather than attempting to undermine the party by remarks in tune with BJP’s agenda”.

Chowdhury further said that senior leaders in the Congress owe a “duty to strengthen the party and not undermine the tree that nurtured them”.

“Would urge a select group of distinguished Congressmen to rise above always seeking personal comfort spots and stop wasting time singing praises of PM. They owe a duty to strengthen the party & not undermine the tree that nurtured them,” he said.

The Congress and the Left have formed a pre-poll alliance with the ISF, making the Assembly elections a triangular contest, and not a face-off between the Trinamool Congress and the BJP alone.