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Mamata, Basu trade ‘Maoist’ charges
Published on 3 Nov. 2009 12:47 AM IST
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A day after Left parties threatened a stir against the Centre for failing to control price-rise; Mamata Banerjee attempted to turn the tables on the state government. Repeating her claim that CPM was in hand in glove with Maoists, the Trinamool chief said that the Centre should take action. Training her guns on chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Mamata said that the chief minister had done nothing to trace the two constables, Sabir Mollah and Kanchan Garai, who had been abducted by Maoists more than three months ago. “What is the state government doing to control price-rise? Essential commodities act, public distribution system are with the state government. From 13 shops, potatoes were sold at Rs 12 a kg for some days. What happened after that? Has the government performed its duty? The Trinamool chief claimed that it was the chief minister’s failure not to have been able to find out what happened to the two constables. Banerjee said that “evidence” against CPM’s involvement in the killing of Trinamool leaders has been submitted to the union home minister. Like in the past, Banerjee claimed that Maoists and CPM were working together in Bengal. “Maoists and Marxists are two sides of the same coin. “Murders are taking place every day. Maoists and Marxists are operating freely. Maoists have been banned. Why won’t the same treatment be meted to CPM?” she asked. Meanwhile, Jyoti Basu has urged “Congress supporters” to vote for the Left in the Assembly bypolls for the sake of “peace and development” in Bengal, making a specific appeal to loyalists of an erstwhile ally his party’s central leadership has dumped. Basu cited the “danger” posed by the alleged nexus between the Trinamul Congress and the Maoists to justify his call, apparently a brainchild of the Bengal CPM. “Those who support the Congress, I want to tell them that we had supported the Congress unconditionally against communalism in the interest of the country. I am specially requesting them when the state is facing the danger (of the violence of the alleged Trinamul-Maoist combine) to support the Left for the sake of peace, order and development in the state,” Basu said in his appeal. But he picked out Trinamul and concentrated his firepower on its “nexus” with the Maoists. “Our state is facing a horrible (bhayankar) situation now. The main Opposition party is resorting to murder and terror. Our comrades are killed every day. Common people as well as doctors, nurses and policemen are also killed. Trinamul and the Maoists are working together. They are taking the law into their own hands. We had brought back peace and democracy in 1977. Today, I appeal to you to vote for the Left in the interests of peace, democracy and development,’’ Basu said in the statement. Basu and most of the Bengal CPM leadership, including chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, had always considered the Congress a lesser enemy in comparison to the BJP at the national level and Trinamul in the state. The tension between the two camps became palpable after the Lok Sabha polls. The Bhattacharjee camp pinned the principal blame on “central factors” — a euphemism for withdrawal of Left support to the first UPA and the subsequent third front experiment.

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