Urging people to cast their votes fearlessly without being intimidated by terror allegedly spread by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said the Trinamool Congress-Congress alliance, if elected to power, would seize all illegal firearms in West Bengal as well as take legal action against CPI(M) leaders and activists against whom criminal cases were pending.
This would be the new government's primary target objective, the Trinamool chief told an election meeting at Arambagh in Hooghly district, where elections are to be held on May 3.
Ms. Banerjee claimed to have information that CPI(M) leaders in the district were “ruling at gunpoint and supplying arms on cycles” and alleged that a section of the police turned a blind eye to these happenings.
She assured people of adequate security both on the poll day and in the post-election period, and said she would request the Election Commission and Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram to deploy additional forces in the region.
The Trinamool in the past repeatedly alleged CPI(M)-led violence and rampant rigging during the elections in the Tarakeshwar, Arambag (SC), Pursurah, Goghat (SC) and Khanakul Assembly constituencies. “All these years, the CPI(M) has terrorised people in the region and not allowed them to cast their votes freely. In the Lok Sabha elections too, people were scared of voting freely. But I can assure you that the CPI(M) is not going to be re-elected this time across the State. So rise up, or else they will rig the polls and usher in another five years of terror and under-development,” she said.
Sharing the dais with family members of several Trinamool activists who were killed allegedly by CPI(M) cadres in recent past, Ms. Banerjee charged that the victims were not allowed to lodge complaints by a section of the “politicised” police and were being denied justice.
“The CPI(M) has turned administration into complete maladministration. The Chief Minister has given free licence to armed cadres to create panic. Even Mr. Chidambaram said yesterday [Monday] that West Bengal is the worst governed State. While innocent villagers are being branded Maoists, the CPI(M) maintains friendship with the real Maoists,” she said.
Reiterating her attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party as a “fair weather party,” she charged the CPI(M) with partnering with the BJP in order to split anti-incumbency votes.