Wednesday, May 29, 2024

ISF parts ways with left-Congress alliance in West Bengal, to go solo at elections

In yet another blow to the Left-Congress alliance in West Bengal, the Indian Secular Front (ISF), formerly aligned with the coalition, has opted to pursue its own path. They have announced intentions to contest all 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

The ISF, which previously joined forces with the Left and Congress during the 2021 West Bengal Assembly elections, emerged as the sole victor among the alliance, securing a seat in the House.

During a press conference on Thursday, the ISF, led by its lone MLA and chief, Pirzada Naushad Siddiqui, revealed their decision to forge ahead independently. Siddiqui stated that the ISF would no longer engage in seat-sharing discussions and announced candidates for six Lok Sabha seats, including Jadavpur, Balurghat, Uluberia, Barrackpore, Diamond Harbour, and Basirhat. Notably, the ISF had previously declared candidates for eight Lok Sabha seats.

Originally, the ISF had sought 14 seats from the Left Front, while the latter proposed only four seats, leading to a deadlock.

Siddiqui attributed the alliance’s breakdown to the disagreement over the Serampore constituency, where the CPI-M fielded JNU student leader Dipsita Dhar.

He explained, “We were prepared to relinquish other seats where conflicts arose for Serampore. We even offered to withdraw our candidate from Murshidabad, but they declined. What more could we have done?”

The ISF, founded by prominent Furfura Sharif cleric Pirzada Abbas Siddiqui, prioritizes social justice for Muslims and Dalits in the state. The party demonstrated its electoral prowess not only in Bhangar but also across various districts such as 24 Parganas (South), 24 Parganas (North), Howrah, Malda, and Bankura during the 2023 panchayat elections.

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