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'CPM atrocities worse than China's'

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Monday said West Bengal and communist China were on the same page regarding human rights violations even though the Union Railway Minister has sympathised with Indian Maoists on several occasions.

india Updated: Aug 31, 2010 00:38 IST
HT Correspondent

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Monday said West Bengal and communist China were on the same page regarding human rights violations even though the Union Railway Minister has sympathised with Indian Maoists on several occasions.

"In China there is dictatorship. A worse form of dictatorship is in West Bengal under the CPI-M. The situation is worse than Tiananmen Square," she said in Kolkata.

Mao, from whom the ultras in India take inspiration, was instrumental in ushering in one-party communist rule in China in 1949. His photograph can still be seen at Beijing's Tienanmen Square, where 3,000 pro-democracy demonstrators were killed by the Chinese army in 1989 according to a Soviet politburo document.

"West Bengal is not (beyond the pale of) the Indian Constitution. They are following the Chinese model here. We need to save Indian democracy. If someone thinks I am committing a crime by highlighting this, so be it," Banerjee said.

The minister's fulmination against the ruling party of Bengal comes at a time when China-India relations have touched a low over the neighbouring country's refusal to give a visa to a senior Indian army officer. However, as a sweetener she said: "I am not criticising their (China's) ideology. But democracy can't allow what can be practised in a dictatorship."

"Here the state government is buying weapons by diverting funds meant for ameliorating the condition of tribals. Why should such a government stay in power? In West Bengal the basic human rights are violated. In the name of a joint venture (operations by central and state forces), women are being molested," she said. "Centre's 100 days' work programme is not being implemented here. In Bengal people have got only 12 days of work."