Giving their stamp of approval on efforts to cobble up an alliance with the Congress for the upcoming West Bengal assembly polls, partners in the Left Front on Thursday said discussions should be held with the Congress on the issue if the party so desired.
In a related development, former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said a common will to remove the Trinamool Congress from power could be the basis for an alliance between the parties despite their mutual differences.
The 11 Left Front partners, who met during the day, lobbed the issue of alliance on the Congress court.
"There has been no formal discussions so far with the Congress. All 11 Left Front partners said if the Congress wants to hold discussions with us on the issue, we will discuss, " the combine's chairman Biman Bose told mediapersons.
In an obvious reference to the alliance efforts, Communist Party of India - Marxist veteran leader Bhattacharjee exuded confidence that past bitterness and differences would not stand in the way.
"There is one thing that you and we understand. There is a call for unity, an alliance. Why? Some people are saying we all should unite, join hands to oust the Trinamool.
"Nothing good will happen to Bengal if Trinamool is not removed from power. This party (Trinamool) are sending our state towards doom, " Bhattacharjee said.
Addressing a party rally at Barrackpore in North 24 Parganas district, the veteran leader said there could be an alliance based on the common consensus of removing the Trinamool.
"Whoever wants to oust the Trinamool, there may be differences between us, two individuals or parties may differ on issues, but there is a broad consensus is that this government has to be removed. We have to do it. We have to prepare for that. I am confident. "
Bhattacharjee, however, said he could not divulge everything as his party would start a two - day state committee meeting from Thursday to decide on the strategy for the polls.
The state committee's decision would be conveyed to the CPI - M central committee, which is scheduled to hold a three - day session beginning February 16 to take the final decision on the alliance.
Welcoming the Left Front stand as a "positive step", Congress leader Abdul Manna also hoped the alliance would be a reality.
With the polls less than three months away, the state leadership of the CPI - M has been making overtures to the Congress for a joint fight against the Trinamool.
Last week, a majority of state Congress leaders also conveyed to party vice president Rahul Gandhi their desire to team up with the CPI - M at the hustings.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi will take the final decision on the possible alliance.