Tribal leaders planned anti-CPM front
If tribal leader Chhatradhar Mahato, 44, and his associates could have avoided arrest at Lalgarh, West Bengal could have witnessed the birth of another left alliance before the 2011 assembly elections. Surbek Biswas reports.kolkata Updated: Oct 20, 2009 23:28 IST
If tribal leader Chhatradhar Mahato, 44, and his associates could have avoided arrest at Lalgarh, West Bengal could have witnessed the birth of another left alliance before the 2011 assembly elections.
The tribal leaders had planned to transform the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) into a political outfit and fight elections bringing together left parties that opposed the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
Mahato revealed this to the police during interrogation. Officials quizzing Mahato claimed the umbrella organisation would have been called Baam Samannay Samity (Coordination Committee for the Left).
It would have sought support from three factions of the Jharkhand Party, the Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist) and the Socialist Unity Centre of India.
It was also decided that the outfit would welcome Mamata Banerjee, the 54-year old Trinamool supremo and her party to the alliance.
It is learnt that the West Bengal government has sent a 20-page report to the Union home ministry listing PCAPA’s political ambitions.
The PCAPA, a tribal organisation the police say is a front for Naxalites, was born out of an agitation that began last November following police raids on villages to arrest suspects after Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and two Union ministers escaped a landmine explosion.
The tribal body is backed by the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) and police suspect they were planning to form a left forum keeping the door open for the Trinamool Congress to counter the CPI (M) in tribal-dominated areas such as Purulia, West Midnapore, Birb-hum and parts of north Bengal.
Mahato reportedly told the police that PCAPA’s plan was to project him as a candidate from the Jhargram constituency. The constituency includes tribal strongholds within the party’s sphere of influence.