Congress leader Anand Sharma.
Congress leader Anand Sharma.

War of words over Congress-ISF Bengal alliance; 'against core ideology' says Anand Sharma

ANI | Updated: Mar 01, 2021 22:17 IST

New Delhi [India], March 1 (ANI): Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma on Monday hit out at the party's alliance in West Bengal with the Indian Secular Front (ISF) led by Furfura Sharif pirzada Abbas Siddiqui, stating that such tie-ups went against the party's core ideology and, Gandhism and Nehruvian secularism.
He further stated that the Congress "cannot be selective in the fight against communalism."
"Congress's alliance with ISF and other such parties is against the party's core ideology, Gandhism and Nehruvian secularism, which is the soul of the Congress party. These issues should have been discussed on the Congress Working Committee," Sharma said in a tweet on Monday.
"We have to fight every form of communalism. The presence and support of the West Bengal Pradesh Congress President is shameful, he should make his stand clear," the deputy leader of the Congress in the Rajya Sabha said.
Sharma was among the 'G-23' or group of 23 dissenting leaders who had on Saturday gathered in Jammu and talked about how the party was weakening. The 23 leaders had had expressed dissent at the functioning of the Congress party and had written a letter to Sonia Gandhi in August last year.

The stalemate between Congress and ISF continued at the first joint rally of the Left-Congress-Indian Secular Front (ISF) at Brigade parade ground in Kolkata on Sunday.
ISF chief Abbas Siddiqui applauded the Left Front for accepting his party's demand for crucial 30 seats including Nandigram. He also made it clear that the ISF will support the Left Front.
Meanwhile, responding to Anand Sharma's remarks while addressing reporters after a Congress-Left meeting over seat sharing for assembly polls in the state, West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury today said, "We're in charge of a state and don't take any decision on our own without any permission."
Sharma's remarks on the party's West Bengal Congress chief came after Chowdhury earlier today said there was no direct negotiation with Indian Secular Front (ISF) yet and they want to finish seat-sharing matter with Left at the soonest.
"Talks with Left party on alliance is on. We want to finish the seat-sharing matter with the Left soonest. In 2016 we came into an alliance and this time also things are in the same continuation," said Chowdhury.
When asked asked about ISF's alliance, he had said, "No direct negotiation with ISF, meeting is continuing with Left. However one of our leaders spoke to them (ISF) but there has been no direct negotiation with our party."
Polling will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 and concludes on April 29 for 294 Assembly seats in West Bengal. The counting of votes will take place on May 2. (ANI)