After remaining largely silent since Kishenji’s death four and a half years ago, Maoists woke up from their slumber to call for a poll boycott. Maoist Bengal state secretary issued a statement accusing the Mamata Banerjee government of unleashing a reign of terror in Jangalmahal. Parts of Jangalmahal (Maoists affected areas of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purlia districts) is expected to go for polls on the first phase on April 4.
Taking a dig at Left-Cong alliance the statement stated that the ‘social fascist’ CPI(M)’s alliance with ‘fundamental enemy’ Congress has ‘thoroughly exposed’ the CPI(M).
It also cautioned that the ‘communal fascist’ BJP was trying to fuel communal tension in Bengal.
Incidentally, the statement was circulated a day before chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s scheduled rally in Lalgarh, West Midnapore which was the epicenter of ultra left activities in Bengal.
“People had established a system for their real liberation – though temporarily –through the Lalgarh movement. But Mamata Banerjee has cleverly taken away from the people, rights over economy and resources that the people had achieved through years of struggle,” CPI(Maoist) state secretary Akash wrote in a statement dated March 10.
Mamata Banerjee’s model of development, by showering public infrastructure projects and providing various types of grants, would not solve the real issues suffered by the people, the Maoists claimed.
The two-page statement reached HT on Thursday. Maoists said the Mamata Banerjee government has ‘perfectly’ implemented the Low Intensity Conflict policy of the Centre to deal with the Maoists.
“Why are there hundreds of policemen in Jangalmahal if peace has indeed been restored, as the chief minister has claimed? Jangalmahal, instead, have been turned into a cantonment of security forces,” Akash wrote in the statement.
Maoists claimed that Mamata Banerjee came to power piggy-riding the wave of popular mass movements in Singur, Nandigram and Lalgarh and with help of raising slogans on popular issues demanding withdrawal of security forces, punishment for police officers accused of torturing people and release of political prisoners.
“She, however, gave a summersault after coming to power and implemented the policies of the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government with even more intensity,” the Maoists statement alleged.
Among the ‘failures’ of Mamata Banerjee government, Maoists mentioned the failure in returning land to Singur’s unwilling landlosers and poor price for agriculture produces.
The statement also alleged that landlords in West Midnapore’s Belpahari, Banspahari, Chakadoba and Laljal areas have taken back land those the landless had taken possession of through years of struggle.
While admitting that their movement in Jangalmahal has suffered a ‘temporary setback,’ Maoists claimed the Lalgarh movement continues to inspire as a ‘popular model’ for mass movement.
1999: Maoists form their first squad in Bengal
2001: Maoists call for boycott of elections in West Midnapore’s Keshpur, Garhbeta, Belpahari, Lalgarh and Salboni areas
2004: Maoists kill eight persons, including 5 EFR jawans and 2 state police officer, in Belpahari, ahead of Lok Sabha elections
2006: Maoist call for boycott of Assembly elections reduce polling percentage in several Assembly seats in Jangalmahal
2009: Poor turnout in Lalgarh and Belpahari in the Lok Sabha elections during Lalgarh movement
2011: Maoists do not call for boycott of the election, instead call for ousting the CPI(M)
2011: Kishenji killed in a controversial encounter, Maoist movement collapses like a house of cards; existing squads flee to Jharkhand
2012: CPI(Maoist) Bengal state committee reconstituted
2016: Maoists call for boycott of elections, targeting the Trinamool, CPI(M), Congress and the BJP