Maoists are trying to mobilise support from Left Front allies in West Bengal for the withdrawal of the combined forces from Lalgarh.
Koteshwar Rao alias Kishanji (51), Politburo member of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist), said he had spoken to Front partners Communist Party of India, Forward Bloc and Revolutionary Socialist party of India in the last one month.
In June 18, 2009, a combined Centre-state force launched a massive operation against the Maoists in Lalgarh, about 200 km west of Kolkata.
Earlier, the Maoists claimed to have ‘liberated’ a large swathe of land, including Lalgarh, where the state government’s writ no longer ran.
Kishanji also said he had called Bengal chief minister and Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.
But although his allies confirmed that they indeed were contacted, Bhattacharjee said Kishanji’s claim was “a lie”.
CPI general secretary Ardhendu Bhushan Bardhan, 83, told Hindustan Times on Thursday: “I spoke to him (Kishanji) for about two minutes. He argued we should stand by the demand for withdrawal of forces. I told him that we do not agree with their politics.”
RSP leader and Public Works Department Minister Kshiti Goswami, who also got a call from Kishanji, said: “Killings and talks cannot go on simultaneously.” Goswami made it clear that he was not in favour of immediate withdrawal of forces.
FB leader Ashoke Ghosh (84) whom Kishanji also claimed to have called, could not be contacted. Kishanji said he called Ghosh as the FB didn’t treat Maoists as “class enemies and has mentioned it in their documents.” “There can be issue-based understandings with any party which stand by people’s cause,” Kishanji said.
But on Trinamool Congress, his take was different. “We welcome Mamata Banerjee’s latest statement, demanding immediate withdrawal of the combined forces, we never tried to get in touch with her.”
He added: “Trinamool leaders have been changing their initial pro-people stand since they joined the government in Delhi.”