Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat on Saturday questioned the electoral alliance between the Congress and the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal.

He said that it was up to the Congress to decide on how it could ally with a party, "which on the one hand talks about the Maoists in a way that is contrary to what the Central government is doing and secondly on all economic and other projects takes positions which a Central government cannot afford to take."

Mr. Karat was also critical of the Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra on the way it dealt with the "destructive competition" of the Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) to claim "Mumbai for only Marathi speaking people."

"The attempt to intimidate film actors like Shah Rukh Khan and other personalities for speaking out their mind is highly condemnable," the CPI(M) Central Committee member observed.

Speaking to journalists here on the final day of the three-day meeting of the CPI(M) Central Committee, Mr. Karat said that his party was drawing attention to this particular situation where a partner in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in West Bengal was not only spearheading the violence in the State, but was also coordinating attacks with the Maoists.

"The declared policy of the Central government is to counter Maoist violence wherever it occurs, but here is a party that is shielding and having dubious links with the Maoists," Mr. Karat said.

According to a written statement from the CPI(M) Central Committee, 167 members and supporters of the party have been killed since the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, which is "a deliberate and planned effort to attack the CPI(M) and the Left to prevent them from working among the people."

"It is not only the question of Maoist connections.on a number of issues related to the development of West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress is adopting an obstructionist position," Mr. Karat added.

Stating that the Trinamool Congress should not do so for political reasons, Mr. Karat said "it is for the Congress party to decide on how it is going ahead with such an alliance.