Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mixed reaction to Centre’s ban on Maoists

Express News ServiceFirst Published : 23 Jun 2009 02:29:00 AM ISTLast Updated :

HYDERABAD: The ban on CPI (Maoists) by the Centre has not surprised the people in the State, as the State’s successive Governments have tried the ploy since 1992, when the then Congress Chief Minister N Janardhan Reddy, for the first time imposed a ban on the CPI (ML, People’s War) the name of the Maoists then, coinciding with the first death anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi, his successors continued the policy.

Ever since, successive TDP and Congress governments have pursued the Maoists issue as a mere law and order problem and continued the theory of banning the Maoists. As was in the past, the Centre’s decision of banning the CPI (ML, Maoists) evoked protests from several political parties, organisations and human right activists and democratic wings of the society. However, the main Opposition party in the state, Telugu Desam welcomed the decision.

CPI general secretary A B Bardhan differed with the Congress led UPA Government’s decision and said that ban could never be a solution to the problem. He wanted a political solution to the extremist problem.

Bardhan extended his support to West Bengal Government for continuing operation in Lalgarh area to eradicate the Maoists. Bardhan said that the operation should be conducted slowly without harassing the common man and without disturbing life of the common people of the area.

CPM State committee member Y Venkateswara Rao condemned the Centre’s decision.

He recalled West Bangal Government and the Left parties opposed the ban on Maoists.

He also said that in the last 30 years the Left front had not imposed any restrictions on Maoist party in West Bengal.

BJP State president B Dattatreya did not react to the Centre’s decision. But, he said that imposing ban was not a solution to the problem. The Government should take up socio-economic programmes to resolve the issue, he felt. Left parties particularly CPM leadership should open their eyes to the problem, he advised.

TRS legislative party leader (TRSLP) leader E Rajendar condemned imposing ban on Maoists across the country. He demanded that the Central and State Government should hold discussions with Maoists at the National- level. PUCL leader Kannabhiran alleged that the Government had failed to rule according to the Constitution. As a result, people were launching several agitations for their rights. The Governments were trying to suppress the movements by imposing the ban. He demanded that the Centre should immediately lift the ban on Maoists.

Revolutionary Writers Association (RWA) leader and well-known poet P Vara Vara Rao took strong objection to the Centre’s decision of imposing the ban on Maoists. “Maoists are fighting for peoples’ issues, that was why the Centre banned the Maoists. Maoists are living in the hearts of the people. No one can impose ban on hearts,” he added.

The CPM government in West Bangal neglected the welfare of tribals and as a result the Maoists intensified their agitation, he said. Praja Rajyam party had condemned the decision and stated that the Congress party had broken its word on the Maoist issue. Party spokesperson V Padma stated that before the elections Congress had described the naxal issue as a socio-economic problem and after the elections the party changed its stand, she alleged.

The AP Civil Liberties Committee described the ban on the Maoists as an undemocratic action. In a press release the organisation’s general secretary Kranthi Chaitanya stated that with the failure of the Government in addressing the issues put forth by the naxals, they were pushed to take up arms. Telugu Desam Party (TDP) welcomed the ban on CPI (Maoist) and declared the outfit as a terrorist organisation. TDP said that the Union government’s decision was proper. Speaking to reporters TDP MLAs Lingareddy and Srirama Kotaiah and former MLA V Venugopal Reddy welcomed the Centre’s decision.

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