Friday, June 19, 2009

A first in 32 yrs: CPM knocks at governor's door

19 Jun 2009, 0429 hrs IST, TNN

KOLKATA: Soon after the crackdown began in Lalgarh, MLAs of the ruling Left Front knocked on the doors of governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi, seeking his
seal of approval in the state government's offensive against the advancing Maoists. In the 32 years of LF's rule, never before have the ruling MLAs walked up the stairs of Raj Bhavan to plead for their safety.

This time, though, the circumstances are different. CPM is battered and bloodied in places like Nandigram, Khejuri and now Lalgarh. The governor, who was at the receiving end of CPM barbs for trying to make peace in Singur, now seems to be a saviour.

The MLAs were closeted with the governor for more than an hour, and described in detail how attacks have been orchestrated against LF supporters and leaders in the districts.

The governor had reacted with a "cold horror" statement after the police firing at Nandigram on March 14, 2007, drawing sharp criticism from the Left parties. CPM state leaders were the most vocal in his criticism. Two years later, CPM's chief whip in the Assembly, Syed Mohammad Mosi, quoted the same phrase to the governor while describing the attack on his partymen in Lalgarh, Khejuri and other places.

"Leaders, workers and supporters of CPM and other Left parties are being threatened, beaten, their houses attacked, party offices burnt. We have been hit and our blood spilled. There is a desperate attempt to bring back the days of 1972," Mosi said.

The LF MLAs submitted a list of 53 leaders and workers killed in different parts of Bengal in political clashes and Maoist attacks. They also submitted CDs of the interview given by Maoist leader Bikash, claiming responsibility for the attack on CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee in 2008 and also speeches given by Trinamool Congress Tamluk MP Shubhendu Adhikary which the Left MLAs have described as "provocative and irresponsible".

"He is the constitutional head as well as Centre's representative. We have requested him to act in a manner which is befitting of a governor. We have asked him to inform the Centre how central ministers are instigating people," Mosi said.

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