TC rejects Cong plea, threatens to release list today

Kolkata/New Delhi: Rejecting Congress` plea to defer finalization of seat-sharing for West Bengal assembly polls till the return of AICC President Sonia Gandhi from abroad, Trinamool Congress on Wednesday threatened to release the list of its candidates if no agreement is reached by today

TC General Secretary Mukul Roy said here that Gandhi?s political Secretary Ahmed Patel spoke to party chief Mamata Banerjee today and requested her to wait till March 21, when Gandhi will return from abroad, for finalization of seat-sharing.

However, Banerjee told Patel that she could wait only till tomorrow evening and announce the list of TC candidates if the Congress high command failed to resolve the deadlock on seat-sharing by that time, Roy said.

To a question, he said it has not yet been decided whether TC would announce full or partial list of nominees if seat-sharing is not finalized by tomorrow evening.

Congress sources in Delhi said Mamata has offered 62 seats to it, up from 58 she had offered initially, but the revised figure is not acceptable to the party.

Congress leaders have been expecting around 70 seats for the party from Mamata. West Bengal assembly has 294 seats.

Mamata also wants two of the constituencies currently held by Congress – a demand also not acceptable to Congress.

Union Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, who had an hour-long talks with Mamata in Kolkata last night on seat- sharing between the two parties, said before returning to Delhi today that talks with TC were on.