Throwing an open challenge to his party, Trinamool Congress, MP Kabir Suman has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arguing that he (Singh) was mistaken in describing the Maoists the “biggest internal security threat facing the country”.
“I humbly submit that I disagree with one of UPA government’s notion that Naxals are the biggest threat to India’s security. I believe that poverty, lack of education and medical treatment, lack of basic social and economic development and lack of opportunities pose the real threat to the nation’s security...” he wrote.
The letter, faxed to the Prime Minister’s Office on January 16, comes a week after Suman released eight songs supporting the Lalgarh movement, and is bound to embarrass his party.
Sudip Bandhopadhyay, Trinamool Congress chief whip in Lok Sabha, told the HT: “We agree with the Prime Minister that the Maoists are the biggest threat to the country.”
Suman’s songs had demanded the release of Chhatradhar Mahato, the leader of the Maoist-backed People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities, who has been arrested.
An embarrassed Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee had then described him as “a guest artiste in the party”, adding: “I want the army to launch combing operations in Lalgarh...”
Suman’s letter said 86 per cent of those killed in political violence in Bengal since May 2009 were Muslims and Dalits.
“Almost every political party is involved in these instances of violence,” he wrote. “How can the Maoists be singled out as the villain?”