Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram's visit to Lalgarh “to glimpse into the reality of people at the grass roots and the way the tribals are living,” and his comments there has been welcomed by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the party's Central Committee member Mohd. Salim said here on Monday.

Asked if the CPI(M) objected to Mr. Chidambaram's comment on the law and order situation in some parts of West Bengal, Mr. Salim, though expressing reservations about the language used by the Union Minister, said: “He has said and we ourselves say that the political violence happening all over the State should stop. What is there to object in that?”

However, Mr. Salim was critical of the Trinamool Congress for demanding that the joint security operations against Maoists be stopped.

“On the one hand, he [Mr. Chidambaram] visited the area and said that operations should be intensified, and on the other, a constituent of the government [the Trinamool] is demanding that the operations be stopped,” Mr. Salim said, adding that this dichotomy of the UPA government must be exposed.

The Trinamool was harbouring a Maoist sympathiser in the form of Kabir Suman and Maoist leaders had admitted that their stand in West Bengal was derived from the stand taken by litterateur Mahashweta Devi (closely associated with Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee), he said.

“This double face of the Trinamool — a rightist face at New Delhi and an extreme Left face here — must be brought out in the open.”

Mr. Chidambaram travelled to Ranchi, Chhattisgarh and other Maoist-affected States to coordinate the joint-operations and now he has visited Lalgarh. Hopefully, he would go to Gadchiroli, Jharkhand and affected areas in Orissa, Bihar and other States as well, Mr. Salim said.

Agreeing with Mr. Chidambaram's “mixed impression” that the progress of the operations had good points and certain weaknesses, he said that apart from military action, Maoists had to be fought politically too.

“The CPI(M) is constantly engaged in a struggle with them and our comrades are dying for the cause every day, but what political message have the Congress and the Trinamool given against them?”

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