Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sitaram Yechury has denied allegations that the Marxists and Maoists were in league in West Bengal and alleged that the rebels were "imported" into the state by political opponents - a tacit reference to the Trinamool Congress.
Terming accusations of the party's links with the leftwing rebels as "a very unfounded charge", Yechury said: "We are the ones who have lost maximum number of people in the fight against the Maoists."
"Naxalbari is a village in West Bengal from where these ultra-Left deviation took place and for 30 years they could not come back to West Bengal only because of the fight we had put up," Yechury told Karan Thapar in CNN-IBN channel's "Devil's Advocate" programme.
He said the Maoists were "imported into West Bengal" by his party's political opponents - a reference to Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress.
"They were brought in by our political opponents in order to be used against us," Yechury said.
Asked why the Marxist-led West Bengal government had buckled in the state, Yechury said: "It was a political battle that they wanted to wage using the Maoists, and they gave them shelter, they gave them patronage and they were brought in from across the border."
"All these incidents that are happening now - even now - are happening just along the border of either Orissa and Jharkhand," he said.
Referring to the joint hunt launched by security forces of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu states to catch notorious dacoit Veerappan, who ruled the jungles for two decades, Yechury said likewise the Maoist-affected states of Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal should also join forces against the rebels.
"That is how Veerapan was caught and this is what is required now," the Left leader said.
Yechury said the West Bengal government would tackle the Maoist menace "with specialised forces".
"They are in operation. They will tackle it," he said.