Kolkata: Congress leaders from West Bengal who met party president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on Friday were divided over the choice of an ally, with one section seeking a pre-poll alliance with the Trinamool Congress and the other favouring the Left parties.

This comes against the backdrop of the Congress having allied with both earlier— with the Trinamool Congress in the 2011 assembly elections and with the Left parties in the 2016 assembly polls.

Former state Congress president Somen Mitra said the party should join forces with the Trinamool Congress for immediate electoral gains. However, in the long haul, the party stands to gain from allying with the Left parties, said Mitra, who added that fighting alone is pointless.

Congress MP Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury and legislator Mainal Haque, both from the northern fringes of West Bengal, also supported Mitra’s view that the party should join forces with the Trinamool Congress ahead of next year’s general elections.

The two leaders had last week met Trinamool Congress general secretary Partha Chatterjee to discuss poll strategy.

However, MP Deepa Dasmunsi and legislator Manoj Chakraborty argued for an alliance with the Left parties. Congress state president Adhir Ranjan Choudhury, who is in favour of an alliance with the Left parties, said on Friday that each leader spoke directly to the party president and that it was up to him to decide the way forward.

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