With eight people killed in clashes between CPM and Trinamool supporters, home minister P Chidambaram has asked West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to visit Delhi immediately to discuss the continuing violence.
Chidambaram had asked Bhattacharjee last month to act against armed cadres, including those affiliated to the ruling CPM, insisting the responsibility for fighting the Naxals lay with the security forces and not cadres of political parties.
Bhattacharjee had accepted Chidambaram’s suggestion to discuss the sensitive issue in a meeting in principle, but avoided the meeting in the first week of this month. A government official suggested the CM's reluctance was probably linked to his inability to deliver on commitments made at earlier meetings last year.
“I have written a letter to the chief minister and drawn his attention to this grave incident and requested him to kindly reschedule all (his) appointments and visit Delhi immediately,” Chidambaram said.
Officials said the problem in violence-hit West Midnapore district was not the adequacy of central forces but their optimal utilisation.
Meanwhile, in wake of the violence, the Election Commission will visit West Bengal on Saturday to access the situation.
Chief election commissioner SY Quraishi, with two other election commissioners VS Sampath and HS Bhrama, will speak to leaders from different parties over the weekend.
Assembly polls in the state are slated for April-May.