Writing to President Mukherjee, CPI(M) leader protests Narayanan’s “baseless conclusion”

Unhappy with West Bengal Governor M.K. Narayanan’s statement describing as “pre-meditated” the attack on Finance Minister Amit Mitra in the Capital on Tuesday, Communist Party of India(Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat has sought President Pranab Mukherjee’s intervention in the matter.

“As President of India, it is for you to decide whether such political interventions by the Governor are justified. I hope you will study the statement and advise the Governor, who is your representative, accordingly,” Mr. Karat said in a letter to Mr. Mukherjee.

“One can understand the Governor condemning the incident. But Mr. Narayanan has gone much beyond that and called it a shocking pre-meditated assault on the Chief Minister, the Finance Minister and other senior Ministers of West Bengal,” Mr. Karat said.

Mr. Narayanan had said this kind of attack was unprecedented in India's modern history and that those responsible for it and their instigators forfeited their right to function within a democratic framework. He demanded a “public apology” by the CPI(M) Polit Bureau.

“All over the State of West Bengal, there are widespread attacks going on against the CPI(M) and the Left Parties offices, leaders and cadres. The Governor's statement has only encouraged these elements,” Mr. Karat said.

“How is it that Shri Narayanan sitting in Raj Bhawan in Kolkata has come to the unfounded and totally baseless conclusion that there was a pre-meditated assault on the Chief Minister, the Finance Minister and others? In fact, the entire visual media showed how the Chief Minister entered and left the Yojana Bhawan without any hindrance. It is highly improper for the Governor of a State, who holds a Constitutional post, to declare that a political party or leaders have forfeited their right to function within a democratic framework,” the CPI(M) leader said, pointing out that the Polit Bureau had already condemned the incident and even decided to probe the matter.

Explaining the chain of events, Mr. Karat said there was a demonstration organised by a number of organisations including the CPI(M) to protest against the attitude of the West Bengal government to the custodial death of Students Federation of India leader Sudipta Gupta in Kolkata. In the course of this peaceful demonstration in police presence, an untoward incident occurred with Mr. Mitra.

SFI denies involvement

Meanwhile, the SFI on Thursday denied its involvement in the attack and accused the Trinamool Congress of using the incident to deflect public attention from the custodial death of Sudipta and the demand for a judicial probe.

At a press conference here, SFI general secretary Ritabrata Banerjee said the SFI had strongly condemned the Delhi incident. But the West Bengal government, now using the incident “as an excuse,” was “undermining our legitimate demand. The SFI, along with other democratic student organisations will never allow this to happen.”