Shedding its earlier inhibitions of staying away from any stir of which the Congress is a participant, the All india Forward Bloc has decided to join a platform to start an agitation against the BJP government at the Centre and Trinamul Congress government in the state. The decision was taken at a state council meeting of the second largest constituent of the Left Front after the CPI-M. The FB leaders’ decision has been welcomed by the state Congress leaders.

A joint agitation looks to be on the cards after the Pujas, sources said. The front partner’s change of policy came in the wake of a poor electoral performance of the party in the recent Lok Sabha elections. Even after the CPI-M decided on a seat-sharing arrangement with the Congress in the 2016 state Assembly elections, the Forward Bloc continued to adhere to its old position of maintaining a ‘politically hostile’ stand towards the Congress which had been a part of its ideological stand since its inception.

Senior party leader Hafiz Alam Sairani said that unification of the secular and democratic forces is the need of the hour, but he did not specify the reasons why it took more than one term of both BJP-led NDA government at the Centre and Trinamul government in the state to change its stand. “We have decided to rethink our stand after the announcement of the results of the last parliamentary elections,” he said.

The misrule of the two parties in the Cenre and the state has aggravated people’s misery and the issue had influenced his party’s thinking, a senior Forward Bloc leader said. “Unless our party joins hands with a national party like Congress, we’ll not only remain a marginal force, but will face political irrelevance,” he said. Welcoming the FB’s change of mind, former PCC chief Pradip Bhattacharya said that its joining hands with the secular and democratic forces would strengthen the movement against authoritarianism and communalism. “It is time other parties whose ideology is similar to ours follow the Forward Bloc and join the agitation after the Puja festivities are over,” he said.