Interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Saturday gave her approval to an alliance between her party and the Left Front for Assembly bye-elections in West Bengal, PTI reported. Gandhi discussed the matter with state Congress President Somen Mitra in Delhi on Friday night.

“We informed Sonia ji about the seat adjustment we are having with the Left Front for the bye-elections,” Mitra told reporters. “She told us if the Left Front agrees then both parties should go for it.” The decision was initially taken by the state Congress leadership as the party had no national president for close to two months after Rahul Gandhi’s resignation.

“It is quite clear that Sonia ji despite sharing a good relation with TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, has chosen the Left for forging an alliance,” said an unidentified Congress leader. “One of the reasons behind it is that in 2021 Assembly polls the fight will be against the TMC government. So just in the name of opposing BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] we cannot align with it.”

Banerjee had earlier called on all Opposition parties to unite against the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Assembly polls.

Attempts at an alliance between the Congress and the Left Front during the Lok Sabha elections had failed. Subsequently, the Congress won just two out of 42 seats, and the Left Front none.

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