The CPI(M) central leadership on Saturday urged the Congress to have a rethink on its United Progressive Alliance partner Trinamool Congress, “which spearheads violence in co-ordination with Maoists”.
In a move to pressure Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who was keen on having the Trinamool as an ally in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat said, “The Centre has a policy against Maoists and considers them a threat.”
Karat’s statement at the end of the CPI(M) central committee meeting here on Saturday was timed thoughtfully, as the Trinamool and Congress state leaders had been avoiding eye contact on various issues for quite some time.
About four months ago, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee embarrassed the state Congress by demanding the withdrawal of forces from the Maoist-dominated Lalgarh and surrounding areas in West Midnapore district.
But in a sudden and unexplained change of heart a few weeks ago, Banerjee demanded that the region be handed over to the army to drive out the Maoists. Now, the Congress finds it difficult to give into every Trinamool demand to keep the alliance alive.
What miffed Banerjee more is the Congress leaders’ silence when she vowed to oppose the proposed chemical hub at Nayachar in East Midnapore district. The reason: The UPA itself cleared the project.
Now, Karat plans to take the CPI(M)’s crusade against Mamata to Delhi. He said the Left would hold a rally in Delhi on March 12 to address inflation, divestment and joblessness, besides the ongoing violence in Bengal that had claimed the lives “167 of our supporters till yesterday”.