June 25, 2009

Will talk to Centre about Lalgarh only when asked to, says Mamata

21 Jun 2009, 0533 hrs IST, TNN

KOLKATA: Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee is disappointed that the Centre did not consult her party, a UPA partner, before embarking on 'liberate Lalgarh operation'. "We'll tell Centre about the real nature of the problem in Lalgarh if asked for. We will not go and tell on our own," she said on Saturday.

Mamata alleged Lalgarh was stage-managed by chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee following CPM's defeat in the Lok Sabha election. The CPM had an understanding with Maoists. "Otherwise how was it that CPM managed to win panchayat and assembly polls in areas dominated by Maoists and why People's Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) called for a poll boycott that helped CPM win Jhargram Lok Sabha seat against Congress", she asked. She also criticised the state government for failing to ban CPI (Maoist).

She said some prominent CPM leaders, including a minister, were behind the operation in Lalgarh, she said they helped Maoists to escape from Lalgarh. The ransacking of a prominent CPM leader's house in Lalgarh was also a 'drama', she said, adding it was done not by Maoists but by a group of CPM rebels in the presence of a select group of media to give the incident publicity.

"CPM had created the same Maoists to capture Keshpur, Garbeta and Khanakul." She said there was a difference between Maoists in Andhra Pradesh and those in West Bengal. "Here, they are creations of CPM." Even Maoist leader, 'Kishenji', could be a creation of CPM, she added. If there were genuine Maoists, Midnapore West, Purulia and Bankura should be declared disturbed and let the Centre take care of the operation.

Denying any link of Trinamool with Maoists, she said she had no objection if Maoists were arrested. But, if police harassed and tortured common people, Trinamool would protest. Common people are being used as shields by Maoists. "Chhatradhar Mahato was a Trinamool member two years ago, but when we learnt that he had Maoist links, we expelled him from the party," she said.

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