Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Monday threatened to file a defamation case against West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee for claiming that her party was hand-in-glove with Maoists.
"How can he say that Trinamool Congress is acting as spotters of Maoists? While we will fight this kind of accusation politically, at the same I am telling Kalyan (Banerjee, party MP) you can go ahead and file defamation proceedings against this falsehood," Banerjee told a party rally in Kolkata.
Banerjee, who led a huge procession from College Street in North Kolkata to Esplanade in the heart of the city, said her party followed the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi and was against the Maoists.
"We have said not once, but a thousand times that we have no link with Maoists. We are not supporters of the philosphy of Leninism. We are, however, ready to accept postive and pro-people aspects of all philosophies," she said referring to the chief minister's rally at Debra in West Midnapore yesterday.
Terming the chief minister's remarks as "irresponsible" and "instigating", she claimed that this had led to the death in a Maoist ambush of four EFR personnel at Gidney in West Midnapore last night.
"Because of the irresponsible statement of the chief minister four people died. Why can't the chief minister speak about peace? His mishandling has led to such a situation," Banerjee said.
Pitching again for withdrawal of anti-Maoist operations in West Midnapore by joint forces, the Railways Minister said it should be inquired as to whether the killing was the handiwork of Maoists or the CPI (M). "Whoever did it has done wrong," she added.
She alleged there were instances of CPI (M) cadre donning the uniform of the police and EFR to indulge in violence as evident in Nandigram, where 14 people were killed in police firing on March 14, 2007, and other places.
CPI (M) cadre was also procuring arms from the state armoury for use against political rivals, she alleged.
Challenging the chief minister to take a referendum on who was siding with the Maoists, she claimed that the CPI (M) had unleashed terror on her party supporters and workers.
"This government is afraid of facing the mandate of the people. They want to cling to power through autocratic means and terror. The Left parties have lost the confidence of the people after suffering defeat in the Lok Sabha elections."
Claiming that the state government did not know how to tackle problems in Lalgarh and in Darjeeling, she said, "I would have solved the problems within three seconds."
She said she was going to Delhi where she would speak with Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and other central ministers on the situation prevailing in the state.