New Delhi: With an extra seat thrown in, more as a face-saver, the political stalemate between the Congress and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) over seat-sharing for the upcoming legislative assembly polls in West Bengal came to an end. As the dominant regional partner, Trinamool Congress chief, Mamata Banerjee, has allotted 65 seats to her alliance partner from a full tally of 294.
Earlier in the day, Indian National Congress president Sonia Gandhi, prospective partner of Trinamool's Mamata in West Bengal, met senior party leaders to discuss the proposed seat-sharing arrangement.
On Friday last, Mamata left a take-it-or-leave-it offer on the table for the Congress, of a maximum of 64 seats. She also let it be known that she would move ahead with arrangements for all the seats on Monday if there was no adequate response from the Congress.
The Congress took a call well in time to avert the threat.
The final arrangement also silenced all bravado by Congress party big-wigs who claimed that the party would prepare three lists - of 64, 90 and all 294 seats- in case the Trinamool failed to be accommodative.
As the ruling party at the Centre, the Congress party finds itself embroiled in an embarrassing number of scams and as an alliance partner at the Centre, the Trinamool may well perceive the Congress to be more of a liability than of any genuine help at the hustings.
The first phase of voting in the state will take place on 18 April, second phase on 23 April, third phase on 27 April, fourth phase on 3 May, fifth phase on 7 May and sixth phase on 10 May.