With the elections to municipalities and a civic body due in May-June and assembly elections next year in West Bengal, alliance partners Trinamool Congress and Congress announced on Tuesday that they would contest the polls jointly.
The announcement was made by Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee after a meeting with state Congress working president Subrata Mukherjee at her residence in south Kolkata. "We will fight unitedly and in alliance. Let those conspiring to drive a wedge between us be careful. Their efforts will not succeed," Banerjee told reporters with Mukherjee beside her. Banerjee said Trinamool Congress leaders Mukul Roy, Union Minister and state party president Subrata Buxi would hold discussions with Mukherjee to finalise seat-sharing.
Mukherjee, who is the head of the core committee in the state Congress to oversee the party's work for the municipal polls, said "We held preliminary discussions. It is not final. I will speak with Pranab Mukherjee. If needed, I will hold further discussions with Mamata."
Mukherjee said "the more the Communist Party of India-Marxist thinks that the alliance between Congress and Trinamool will not happen, the more it will be mistaken." Asked whether Mukherjee's meeting with her had anything to do with projecting him as the the TC-congress nominee for mayor, Banerjee reprimanded the scribe, "you should not put such embarrassing questions. Mukherjee has come here as a representative of another party."
The election to 82 muncipalities and the 141-ward Kolkata Municipal Corporation is scheduled in May-June 2010 and the assembly elections in 2011. The election to municipalities and Kolkata Municipal Corporation is seen as the 'semi-final' before the assembly polls. The CPI-M-led Left Front, which faces a political challenge to make a turnaround after successive electoral defeats, is now in power in KMC and in a majority of the 82 muncipalities.