All India Secular Front (AISF) MLA Naushad Siddique.. Image Source: IANS News
Kolkata, Sep 1 : Presence of Trinamool Congress is the only hurdle for All India Secular Front (AISF) to be a part of the grand opposition INDIA bloc, according to the lone AISF representative in West Bengal Assembly, Naushad Siddique.
“I personally have great admiration towards Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. Had Trinamool Congress not been in the INDIA alliance, AISF would not have hesitated to join hands with the opposition forces. But the presence of Trinamool Congress is the only hurdle,” Siddique said.
Political observers feel that through these comments Siddique had virtually made it clear that his party will be going alone in the big-battle of 2024 Lok Sabha polls instead of going for alliance with Congress and Left Front as it did in the 2021 West Bengal Assembly polls.
Already speculation is there that Siddique might himself contest from minority- dominated Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha constituency in South 24 Parganas district, where from the sitting MP is Trinamool Congress’ national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee.
AISF leadership is also considering fielding candidates from a number of other minority-dominated Lok Sabha constituencies in Howrah, Murshidabad and Malda districts.
As of Trinamool Congress, their stand about AISF is clear. According to the state’s ruling party AISF is acting as a clandestine partner of BJP whose only aim is division in the minority votes in West Bengal to give the saffron camp a mileage.
Political observers too feel that the possible event of AISF contesting independently will be a factor of discomfort for the anti- BJP forces as it would mean a possible division in the minority voters.
“The advantage of this division in minority votes will ultimately go in favour of BJP provided how much the latter is successful in consolidating the majority voters in its favour,” said a city- based political observer.