Leaders of Left parties and the Trinamool Congress separately met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday to protest against political violence in West Bengal. Dr. Singh assured them that their claims would be examined by the government.
“The Prime Minister said he would have the evidence examined by the Home Ministry. He repeated the government’s commitment to eliminating the scourge of Maoist violence and said he stood by his statement that it was the gravest threat to India’s internal security. He also said the government is committed to restoring civic administration in all areas where it could not function effectively due to Maoist violence, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury told newspersons after meeting Dr. Singh along with leaders of other Left parties.
The CPI(M) leader alleged that some Cabinet members were openly engaging with Maoists and hoped that the exigencies of practical politics would not be at the expense of internal security. “This contradiction in the Union Cabinet is untenable. The Prime Minister should take a decision on this,” he said.
Mr. Yechury said a CD submitted to the Prime Minister showed that the Trinamool had struck a nexus with Maoists to expand its political base and one of its Ministers was in touch with Maoist commanders. He also took on Trinamool leader Mamata Banerjee for dropping her insistence on imposition of President’s rule in the State and demanding the deployment of the Army in some affected areas. He also questioned the Trinamool’s claim of having suffered at the hands of Maoists.
“Her [Ms. Banerjee’s] line on President’s rule changed in two days. You draw your own conclusions,” he pointed out.
On the demand to deploy the Army, Mr. Yechury said it was unfair to involve the Army in divisive issues within the country. “The Army has one side to take. And that is India’s side.”
On the meeting with the Prime Minister, Ms. Banerjee said her party sought Army deployment in the Maoist-affected districts of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura.