Kolkata: Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM) state secretary Surjyakanta Mishra asked party members to vote for Congress in areas where it stood as the only alternative to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Hinting at the upcoming Chhattisgarh Assembly polls, Mishra said that CPM will be extending its support to Congress in its fight against Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the BJP.

While stating that the only way to remove BJP from power is to vote for Congress, Mishra made it clear that there was no other way to defeat the saffron wave which has been riding high since quite a long time now. Mishra said, “In places where there is a contest between Congress and BJP, we will have to defeat BJP. If we have to defeat BJP and Congress is the only alternative there, then it goes without saying that we have to vote for Congress.”

Mishra further said that CPM has always been assertive of uniting with the Opposition against the BJP and has been keen to forge an alliance in West Bengal. Citing the example of 2016 Assembly polls, Mishra recollected how both parties had entered into an electoral understanding back then.

“Here our fight is against both TMC and BJP and we have to unite the opposition votes…For that there is a need to extend our support to the Congress,” the CPM state secretary said.

“In the 2016 Assembly polls in Bengal, we had taken a decision to enter into an electoral understanding with the CPM after intimating our party high command. Following the declaration of Assembly poll results, the CPM decided to sever all ties with our party. Now if they think that there is a need to support our party for the benefit of the country, we will welcome their decision and will share the same with our party high command,” said state Congress president Somen Mitra.

For the unversed, leaders of both parties such as Abdul Mannan and Sujan Chakraborty have been seen staging joint protest movements against the TMC government. Earlier, Congress leadership under former state president Adhir Chowdhury too had openly advocated for an electoral alliance with the CPM in future polls.