Former special advisor for Internal Security to the Prime Minister and present governor of West Bengal Mayankote Kelath Narayanan dubbed chief minister Mamata Banerjee's seven day deadline to the Maoist to lay down arms as a "generous offer."
On arrival in Darjeeling on Monday, Narayanan, talking to the media stated, "This is the part of the strategy to get the Maoists to the table. The CM's earlier peace proposal seems to have gone unheeded as the Maoists continue with the killing spree, recently having gunned down three people in Junglemahal. However this time a clear message has been sent to them that the government is not weak."
Addressing a rally on Saturday at Jhargram, chief minister Mamata Banerjee strongly condemned the continued spate of killings by the Maoists and issued a seven-day ultimatum to the ultra lefts to lay down their arms. "Killings and negotiations cannot go hand and hand," she had categorically stated.
A clearly offended Mamata (at the Maoists having failed to honour her olive branch) stated, "We have initiated the peace process, stopped joint operations for over four months. However the Maoists have not kept their word and continue to gun down innocent people."
The CM categorically stated that the state was ready to give the Maoists whatever they wanted in the form of development - schools, colleges, roads, jobs and that the path to the dialogue table was open. "But we will not tolerate violence any longer."
She further assured that with the return of peace there would be no need for joint security forces. The Left Front however has dubbed Banerjee's deadline as "double speak."
"While Mamata Banerjee has allowed the Maoists to continue with their killing spree and not uttered a single word when more than 170 Left activists have been butchered in the past, she suddenly wakes up now that two or three Trinamool Congress activists have been gunned down and issues a seven day deadline. It is not a very realistic move," stated Suryakanta Mishra, leader of the opposition, West Bengal.
Narayanan accompanied by his wife, is on a ten-day visit of the Darjeeling Hills. He will be leaving Darjeeling on October 27.