Friday, November 27, 2009

Trinamool, CPM clash in LS over Maoist violence

27 Nov 2009, 0409 hrs IST, ET Bureau

NEW DELHI: As fresh violence broke out in certain areas of West Bengal, railway minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday demanded that despatching of a
central team to the Left-ruled state for an on-the-spot assessment of the situation.

The Trinamool Congress chief met finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and home minister P Chidambaram on a day her party and the CPM clashed in the Lok Sabha on the issue of Maoist violence, forcing adjournment of the House for an hour.

The two arch rivals turned the Lok Sabha into a battlefield for their political squabbles twice during the day -- first during zero hour when Trinamool Congress chief whip Sudip Bandopadhyay demanded the visit of a central team to West Bengal and later during a debate on price rise when his raving, ranting and sniggering party colleagues hurled charges at the CPM just as Basudeb Acharia rose to speak. Raising the issue of Maoist violence in West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress targeted the Left Front government while the CPM, led by Mr Acharia, retaliated by accusing Mamata Banerjee’s party of being hand-in-glove with the Maoists.

The Trinamool Congress alleged “indiscriminate killing” of its party workers by CPM cadres in Hoogly district on Thursday morning. Fresh clashes have occurred in three villages under Khanakul, Arambagh and Purshura police stations in Hooghly district.

The feud continued outside the House when CPM politburo member Sitaram Yechury told at a press conference that the visit of a central team will only prove the “nexus” between the Trinamool Congress and Maoists. Alleging that the railway minister’s party was patronising Maoists, he said its game plan in the state was to create anarchy, use it to get central rule imposed and hold elections, which it can “manipulate”.

“Under the garb of being Trinamool Congress activists, Maoists would enter the area, stay back and later mount attacks on our people,” Mr Yechury said. He also reiterated that minister’s in the UPA government were backing Maoists when the Prime Minister had described the Naxal problem as the gravest threat to internal security.
Later in the day when CPM’s Basudeb Acharia started speaking on price rise in the Lok Sabha, Trinamool Congress members got back by accusing the Left Front government of being responsible for the violence.

An irritated Mr Acharia first sat down in protest saying he had not interrupted Mr Bandhopadhyay’s speech on price rise. However, pleas by him and the chair fell on deaf ears as the Trinamool Congress members continued to interrupt his speech with charges against the Left Front government.

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