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Updated: December 1, 2009 21:33 IST

Centre need not send any team: Prakash Karat

Special Correspondent
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Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat
Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat

The “unilateral decision” by the Centre to send a team to West Bengal “is not a good thing,” said general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Prakash Karat here on Monday.

“The Central government need not send any team here. Law and order is a State subject,” he said, sometime before a three-member team of Central officials arrived here in the evening.

Most political parties had expressed in Parliament their opposition to the decision, Mr. Karat said while emerging from a meeting of the West Bengal State Committee of the CPI(M). The two-day meet ended on Monday.

Asked by journalists whether the decision to send a team was politically motivated, he said it obviously had come at the instance of the party (Trinamool Congress), which is an ally of the United Progressive Alliance.

He got to know that a Central team had come to meet State officials. Had the team planned to visit Lalgarh, where a joint security operation against Maoists was on, it would have made sense, he added.

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, when asked for his views, declined to comment on the visit of the central team.

The team, led by Additional Secretary in the Home Ministry D.R.S. Chaudhary, is scheduled to hold talks with the State Chief Secretary and Home Secretary on Tuesday, before deciding on its itinerary during its stay. It is expected to visit certain areas affected by recent inter-party clashes.

The State government was taking all steps required to clamp down on political violence wherever it occured, and the law and order situation was under control, Chief Secretary Ashok Mohan Chakraborty said.

The State would provide all cooperation to the Central team, said Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen.

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