Mamata broadens alliance by taking in NCP

Kolkata: A day after sealing a seat-sharing deal with the Congress on her terms, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday broadened her alliance in West Bengal by bringing in UPA ally NCP which was alloted one seat in Coochbehar district in north Bengal.

Trinamool Congress leader Mukul Roy told PTI the NCP was made the alliance partner after telephonic talks between NCP boss Sharad Pawar and Mamata Banerjee today.

Roy said, “It has been decided to give NCP the Dinhata seat in Coochbehar district where we had already named Mihir Goswami as our party candidate.“

Roy said NCP would now contest the seat against the Left Front candidate there.

In the 2006 Assembly election, Ashok Mondal of Trinamool Congress had won the Dinhata seat, bordering Bangladesh, defeating his nearest rival Udayan Gupa of Left Front constituent Forward Bloc.

Mondal was not renominated by the party this time and in his place Gowswami was fielded.

There are nine seats in Coochbehar district, six of which would be contested by the Trinamool Congress, two by Congress and one by NCP.

Out of the total 294 seats up for grabs, Trinamool Congress would contest 227, Congress 65, SUCI two and now NCP one.