Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee said here on Friday that Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram should come to West Bengal and see for himself what she described as the terror let loose by the CPI(M) in the State even as she reiterated her demand for invoking Article 356 to check it. Her party is not demanding invoking of Article 356 for “elections” in the State (the next Assembly polls are due in 2011) but “why should they [the Left Front government] who snatch away the rights of the people be allowed to remain in power?” she asked.
Ms. Banerjee also called for Central intervention to restore normality in the Maoist-affected areas in the State. “As the joint venture [security] operation [in the Lalgarh area] launched at the instance of the CPI(M)-led government is not providing any solution, the Centre should investigate and take care [control] so that normality returns to the area,” she said. Referring to the recent violence in Khanakul in Hooghly district, Ms. Banerjee said she had taken up the issue of ‘breakdown in law and order’ with Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, besides Mr. Chidambaram. United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi had also been informed.
Central team sought
“They said that they would take up the matter,” said Ms. Banerjee who is also demanding that a Central team be sent to assess the situation in Khanakul.
On the mine blast in Paschim Medinipur district that claimed the lives of two security personnel, she said: “The Centre should inquire who is responsible for planting the bombs and firing from guns…Arms have flooded West Bengal,” she added.
Ms. Banerjee, who has been demanding the invoking of Article 356 in West Bengal in view of “State-sponsored terrorism” in the State, said that “no government could continue in such circumstances under the Constitution.”
“Here is a government that has not been able to maintain law and order but is only engaged in spreading terrorism and inciting violence. It is in such times that the Centre should take things up; justice is already delayed and thus denied, and violence continues to rage every day for the past six months,” she said.
The Trinamool will observe an “anti-terrorism” week across the State from November 29 through “democratic means like protests and processions,” Ms. Banerjee said.