Calling the leaders of the Trinamool Congress 'merchants of death,' the Communist Party of India (Marxist) accused the party of trying to propagate a 'politics of violence and lies' throughout West Bengal by forging alliances with separatist powers like the Maoists and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM).

At a press conference here on Saturday, Mohd. Salim, a member of the CPI(M) central committee alleged that the Trinamool was trying to reap political benefits from the 'violence it was perpetrating in the State.'

Reiterating the CPI(M)'s stand that the Trinamool Congress is hand-in-glove with the Maoists, Mr. Salim also alleged that the party had forged an understanding with the GJM in last month's Assembly by-elections to serve its "narrow political interest and for electoral gains."

He demanded that the Trinamool come out clear regarding its stand over the Gorkhaland issue.

"The Trinamool Congress has taken resort to cooking up ingenious lies in an effort to divert attention from the violence perpetrated by it in several parts of the State while it is the cause of all the violence, it is also trying to be a beneficiary," Mr. Salim said.

To prove his point, he referred to the list of names of slain Trinamool Congress supporters given by party chief Mamata Banerjee to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to underscore the deteriorating political atmosphere in the State.

Ms. Banerjee had alleged that the supporters were killed by CPI(M)-backed miscreants in several places across the State following the latter's poll debacle in the Lok Sabha elections.

"Among the 107 names mentioned by the Trinamool Congress in the list, several are of those who were supporters of the CPI(M) and have been killed by the Trinamool Congress-backed miscreants. The list also has many fictitious names as well as names of persons who are still living it even names a 12-year-old girl as a party martyr, who in reality died of illness," Mr. Salim said.

Lawlessness, zero governance: Mamata

Ms. Banerjee on Saturday alleged that there was "zero governance and total lawlessness" in West Bengal.

"We have rightly said the Union Home Ministry should take up the matter." Holding the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led regime responsible "for the very alarming situation," she said here: "Such things happen when a government realises that time has come for it to relinquish power."

Ms. Banerjee alleged that the CPI(M) had "imported" Maoists from elsewhere. "We know that they (CPI-M) had a meeting with the Maoists during the elections when it was decided that there will be such activities (violence) in the event of their (CPI-M) losing."

On the State government's suggestion that the Railway Board visit the Singur site, which was earlier acquired for the Tata Motors small car plant (the project has since been shifted) and where the Railways are now keen on setting up a coach unit, Ms. Banerjee, who is also the Railway Minister, ruled out a visit.

Until the leased land was back in the government's custody, it could not make such a suggestion, she said.