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Bengal polls: Cong, ISF break ice over seat-sharing; talks still underway

The Congress and the Indian Secular Front on Tuesday managed to break the ice between them over seat-sharing for the upcoming assembly elections in West Bengal but talks are still underway for some constituencies, sources said.

Newly floated Indian Secular Front had initially demanded 15 seats from the Congress, but the party had agreed to give only five to it.

However, during the fresh talks, the grand old party agreed to give eight seats in all but the Abbas Siddiqui-led party is demanding two-three more constituencies, they said.

“The talks were held in a positive manner and we agreed to put up a united fight against communal BJP and undemocratic TMC to ensure their defeat. All the participants understood the need for the talks to succeed to prevent splitting of votes,” a Congress leader said.

The final list is scheduled to be announced on March 7 and 8 and a large number of young CPI-M leaders will find place in it, a leader of the party said.

ISF chairman Naushad Siddiqui had earlier said that the party is positive that the unresolved issues will be sorted out soon.

Left Front chairman Biman Bose had earlier cautioned Abbas Siddiqui against speaking out in public against the Congress as they are in an alliance.

State Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had earlier said that seat-sharing equations changed after the ISF joined the alliance.

“Initially, it was only the Left Front and the Congress and the seat adjustment was done in a particular manner. We had earlier sought 130 seats but now we have another party in our United Front. We have got 92 seats and discussions are on over a few more,” he had said.