Kolkata, Aug 3 (IANS) Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Saturday gave a call for unity among the Congress and the Left to protect and preserve the "secular character of the nation".
Sharing the stage with CPI-M Politburo member Mohammad Salim in Barrackpore of North 24 Parganas, Chowdhury criticised both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and drew parallels between the two.
"In Delhi, we see Modi calling for an opposition-free India and in the state, Banerjee wants an Opposition-free Bengal," said Chowdhury, a former state Congress chief. "There is a need for unity with the Left parties to protect and preserve the secular character of our nation," he said.
The seminar titled "Is there an end to brutal intolerance" was organised by a foundation set up in the memory of CPI-M leader Subhas Chakraborty.
Salim also attacked both the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA government at the Centre and the Trinamool Congress regime in the state.
With Chowdhury and Salim playing pro-active roles, the Congress and the Left Front had joined hands in the 2016 Assembly polls. Though the combine failed to dislodge the TMC from power, it finished the biggest opposition group, relegating the BJP to the third place.
In 2019, the Congress and the CPI-M failed to clinch a seat-sharing deal for the Lok Sabha polls. While the Congress finished with only two seats, the LF drew a blank. The BJP won 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats against the two it had won in 2014. The TMC was reduced to 22 seats against 34 in 2014.
Since then, the Congress and the LF have been trying to inch closer. They have already taken out two joint rallies in violence-torn Bhatpara of the North 24 Parganas district.