Summing up the Left Front’s perceived lapses in West Bengal, union finance minister and Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee alleged on Monday the formation was responsible for the re-emergence of Maoists in the state.
He also blamed the Left for the criminalisation of politics in West Bengal.
“The Left Front is responsible for the criminalisation of politics in West Bengal. It was less bothered about opening the gates of factories when it came to power on 1977. However, they had opened the gates of jails for hardcore criminals,” said the finance minister while addressing a rally.
He said: “The Left Front government released at least 1,200 hard-core criminals – on the basis of their political ideology – after they came to power. They even felicitated some of those criminals publicly.”
“The Left Front government’s policy is responsible for the emergence of Maoist groups,” he alleged.
The Maoist movement, which started in West Bengal in 1967, was crushed with an iron hand during the Congress regime of 1972-77. But some of the frontline Naxal leaders such as Ashim Chatterjee and Santosh Rana were released after the Left Front came to power.
“Whenever a person is killed in Maoist-dominated districts, CPI(M) leaders allege it is the handiwork of the Maoists. But they don’t say where the Maoists came from,” Mukherjee remarked.
“In the 34-year regime of the Left Front, the police of this state have become so inactive that now they need the help of the joint forces to open the gates of a police station. What can be more shameful than this?” he said.
Mukherjee said the alliance with the Trinamool Congress would remain in the upcoming assembly election. After discussions with Trinamool leaders, the allies would declare which party would contest how many seats, he added.