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PC invites Buddha for talks
NEW DELHI, Dec 30 (Agencies):
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Published on 30 Dec. 2010 11:28 PM IST
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Union home minister P Chidambaram on Thursday invited West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya to discuss the prevailing situation in his state.
Chidambaram on Thursday sent two letters responding to Buddhadeb’s reply to him on Wednesday. Both letters have been faxed as well as sent by speed post.
In the concluding part of the first letter, Chidambaram has invited West Bengal Chief Minister to Delhi at his earliest convenience to discuss the subject and agree upon the way forward.
This comes a day after Buddhadeb sent a strongly-worded reply to Chidambaram’s earlier letter which made a scathing comment on the law and order situation in West Bengal.
In his letter, Buddhadeb alleged that Chidambaram’s assessment of the Bengal situation “was surprising and not impartial.”
The chief minister also wrote that railway minister Mamata Banerjee and her Trinamool Congress (TMC) “which was earlier maintaining secret contacts with Maoist leaders and outfits are now openly organising meetings with them.”
In his reply, Buddhadeb also stressed that he has asked all parties in West Bengal to work together to prevent political clashes. But Banerjee’s TMC alone remains uncooperative, he said. The strong reaction from Buddhadeb came after the union home minister virtually ordered the chief minister to disarm and demobilise the armed cadres of his party and referred to them as “Harmad Vahini” - a derogatory term used by Banerjee’s party for the Left cadres.
In a war of words literally
What’s in a word, one might wonder! But union Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s choice of a word derived from a foreign lingo in his recent letter to West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has sparked off a controversy, raising questions of propriety over its usage in an official communication.
“There is evidence to show that Harmad camps are mostly located in CPM party offices and houses of local CPM cadres. It is a matter of grave concern that these cadres have been provided with firearms,” Chidambaram wrote in his letter. By the word ‘harmad’, derived from the Spanish word ‘armada’, the home minister was in his missive to the chief minister referring to armed cadres of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) housed in camps in the state’s Maoist infested areas.
In recent times, the word appeared in an anti-Left newspaper that used it to describe what it called “goons backed by the CPI-M”. Since then, various media and opposition parties - particularly the Trinamool Congress - have been using the word liberally to denounce the Marxist party.
An angry Buddhadeb translated the word as “hired killers” in his hard-hitting reply to Chidambaram’s missive. “I strongly object to your using the word ‘harmad’ (hired killers) to mean the CPI-M party workers without knowing the meaning of the nasty word coined by Trinamool Congress leaders”.
On the other hand, Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee stood by Chidambaram.

 
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