Continuing with its criticism of the Centre for its handling of Maoist violence in West Bengal, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Saturday asked Home Minister P. Chidambaram to sort out the contradictions within the Union Cabinet instead of resorting to “irrelevant feints against it.”
“Evidently, the Home Minister is put in an unenviable position when a Cabinet colleague of his takes positions contrary to that of his Ministry and the government. Right from the start of the joint operations in Lalgarh, the Railway Minister has made known her displeasure and asked for recall of the Central paramilitary forces. She extended support to a front organisation of the Maoists. Another Minister belonging to her party [Trinamool Congress] has publicly admitted to knowing in advance about the Rajdhani train stoppage,” CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat said in a statement.
On Friday, Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury advised Mr. Chidambaram to “refresh his memory” following his charge of an earlier collaboration between the CPI(M) and the Maoists. The Home Minister should instead ensure better coordination among West Bengal, Jharkhand and Orissa because most of the attacks taking place in West Midnapore were near the border with these two States, he said.
Mr. Karat said it was “surprising that Mr. Chidambaram chose to ignore the history of the naxalite/Maoist movement. Far from being the CPI(M)’s ‘comrades in arms’, the Maoists have always been unremittingly hostile to the CPI(M), killing hundreds of its cadres and supporters.”
Mr. Chidambaram’s reference to the attitude of the CPI(M) towards the Maoists having been different till the last session of Parliament was also misplaced. “The CPI(M) is critical of the laws that have draconian provisions in the name of fighting terrorism. Such laws have been used against the innocent, mainly from the Muslim community. We have always held that the Maoists have to be fought ideologically and politically, apart from [taking] firm administrative measures when they indulge in violence. The Maoists cannot be equated with the Laskhar-e-Taiba or the Jaish-e-Mohammed. The fact that the Home Minister has offered to talk to the Maoists, if they stop violence, itself recognises this difference,” observed Mr. Karat.
“It would be better if Mr. Chidambaram took the initiative to sort out this glaring contradiction within the Cabinet and not make irrelevant feints against the CPI(M),” concluded the statement.