Abbas Siddiqui headed Indian Secular Front (ISF) on Friday announced that the seat sharing deal with Left parties and the Congress has been finalised. The fledgling party, which had initially demanded over 70 seats, has got 30 seats. However, it is insisting on 3-4 more, including the high-profile constituency of Nandigram.
Siddiqui said that while the seat deal has been approved by the Left, the Congress is yet to put forth its demand.
“Have spoken with Left regarding seat sharing. We’ve got 30 seats as per our choice and are in talk regarding 3-4 more. With Congress seat-sharing stand still not clear, talks are still on. We’d demanded 70-80 seats, we want Nandigram seat,” Abbas Siddiqui, who heads Hooghly district’s influential Furfura Sharif, said.
He said that the Indian Secular Front will participate in Brigade Meeting called by the Left and Congress on February 28 to ‘save democracy’ and fight together.
With Abbas Siddiqui, who is considered to be one of the strongest Muslim clerics in West Bengal deciding to float his own party and contest against the Trinamool Congress, headache for Mamata Banerjee has increased manifold. AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has already announced that his party will field candidates in several constituency which is certain to cut TMC’s votes.
Siddiqui, 34, had earlier sternly rejected assertions that his outfit would be a B-team of the BJP, eating into the vote share of the TMC, which largely banks on the state’s 30 per cent Muslim electorate during polls.
“Why are you talking about a split in Muslim votes? There are so many more political parties, but you never talk about any split in Hindu votes.
If there are some who have problems with my outfit, they should think about what needs to be done. It is not my job to worry about the TMC’s poll prospects,” Abbas Siddiqui had told reporters at the launch of his political outfit in January.