Press Trust of India
NEW DELHI: Taking on Mr Rahul Gandhi for his criticism of developmental activities in tribal areas of West Bengal, CPI-M leader Mr Sitaram Yechury today hit back saying tribal-dominated Bankura and Purulia districts had better socio-economic indicators than Amethi or Rae Bareli.
Observing that much was being said about the neglect of the tribal areas of the state, he said “during the election campaign, Gandhi (had) stated that many tribal areas in Bengal were more backward than the most backward regions of Orissa.“We had then shown that the areas of Bankura and Purulia, in fact, had better socio-economic indicators than Amethi or Rae Bareli. That apart, both the tribal reserved Lok Sabha seats in the state have been retained by the Left Front notwithstanding defeats elsewhere.”
In an editorial in the forthcoming issue of CPI-M mouthpiece **People's Democracy, Mr Yechury also took on the Trinamul Congress saying the ban on Maoists has put it in an “untenable” situation as they were “unable to defend or deny their collaboration with the Maoists and the fact that they had utilised the Maoist terror for their electoral advantage”.
Maintaining that there was “increasing evidence” of support extended to the extremists by the Trinamul, he said “it is now becoming increasingly clear to the common people that the Trinamul Congress had forged a grand alliance of all reactionary elements including the Maoists against the CPI-M and the Left Front in the recent elections.”
The consequence has been “unnecessary and unprecedented harassment and terrorisation of the common people,” Mr Yechury said, adding that the Trinamul had “put the people at the mercy of the Maoists for electoral gains”.
Observing that there was a “virtual exodus” of terrorised tribals from the Lalgarh area, he quoted local media reports to say that the people, especially women and children, wanted to escape from being used as human shields by the Maoists to face the police.
The CPI-M leader said it was now getting “increasingly clear that such cynical use of terror for electoral gains only jeopardises civil society mounting untoward misery on the people. It is such politics that need to be defeated while firmly meeting the challenge mounted by the Maoists and restoring normalcy and civic order.”