Pledging support to the Trinamool Congress on condition that its chief, Mamata Banerjee, withdraw from the United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre, a State committee member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), Bikram, in a press release said the outfit will not boycott the coming polls in West Bengal.
The release, dated January 12, and sent to media houses on Monday, made an appeal to Ms. Banerjee to resign from the Cabinet to obtain the full support of the Maoists during the crucial polls.
Though two previous press releases from Bikram had referred to a tacit understanding between the Maoists and the Trinamool Congress, the timing of the latest statement is significant in view of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's scheduled meeting with Union Home Minister Chidambaram on January 19.
Mr. Bhattacharjee, who is also likely to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, has been speaking of a nexus between the Trinamool Congress and the Maoists in the State.
Governor to visit Netai
The Governor's visit to Netai near Lalgarh where a firing incident killed nine villagers on January 7 is also scheduled for January 19.
In the release, Bikram said: “We propose that Ms. Banerjee resign from the Cabinet and raise her voice against ‘Operation Green Hunt' besides protesting against the Communist Party of India (Marxist)'s atrocities. Rather than boycotting the elections, we will support her and follow the roadmap for development drawn up by her if she comes to power.”
Claiming that the Maoists “want nothing but justice and development” for poor tribal people, he added: “For the sake of peace and development, we will not boycott the elections and will participate in the peace process proposed by you [Ms. Banerjee].”