Ridiculing Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's allegations that the Communist Party of India (Marxist) was responsible for the spurious liquor tragedy as well as for spreading rumours that supplies from a waterworks there were poisoned, Leader of the Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly Surya Kanta Mishra wondered why she was bent on “poisoning the (political) situation” in the State.

He described her remarks as “irresponsible” and were nothing but “canards” against the CPI(M) and an attack on the basic tenets of Parliamentary democracy.

As for the Chief Minister's charge that the CPI(M) was behind the spreading of rumours of water poisoning and was engaged in a “well-planned conspiracy to kill people”, Dr Mishra, who is also a member of the CPI(M)'s Central Committee, pointed out that it was she who is the main “organiser” of such insidious rumours.

“The Chief Minister has been systematically spreading canards against the CPI(M) starting from mixing toxic material in the illicit liquor to poisoning of water…These wild allegations levelled by none other than the Chief Minister herself clearly speak of the inefficiency of her government. It is unfortunate that she has been resorting to such evil tactics”, he pointed out.

Recalling Ms Banerjee's warning that the CPI(M) was out to poison the water supplied from the city's waterworks at Tala pumping station and her allegation while campaigning for the civic polls in May 2010 that it was trying to instigate communal riots, Dr Mishra said that Ms Banerjee seemed incapable of forgetting what she had then said even after assuming power. He also took umbrage against Ms. Banerjee's allegation made earlier in the day that besides spreading rumours poisoning of water supplies and being responsible for the illicit liquor tragedy, the CPI(M) is out to poison mid-day meals served in primary schools and the food served through the Integrated Child Development Services as most of the State employees belonged to the party.

Dr Mishra was also critical of Ms. Banerjee's warning that the CPI(M) would be held responsible if any such incident did actually occur and her questioning of whether the party should continue enjoying its political rights. “Her remarks smack of single-party hegemony, not of democracy”, he observed.