KOLKATA, 31st OCT, 2009: Taking a dig at Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee’s persistent demand for withdrawal of security forces from the Maoist-affected areas in West Bengal, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said here on Saturday that she should try and convince the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister about her demand.
Addressing a mass convention organised by the West Bengal Left Front Committee, Mr. Bhattacharjee said: “The Prime Minister has already acknowledged the Maoists as the country’s biggest internal threat. Perhaps the Trinamool Congress understood the point but unfortunately the party is hand-in-glove with the Maoists starting from Singur, Nandigram and till today.”
Pointing out that more than 65 supporters of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) were killed in the Lalgarh region in Paschim Medinipur district over the past two months, he charged the Trinamool Congress-Maoist combine with perpetrating violence in several parts of the State even as he appealed to the Trinamool Congress to sever ties with the Maoists.
“We have pledged to the people of the State to rescue the State from the Maoist menace and we are confident about achieving the same,” Mr. Bhattacharjee asserted.
Left Front State Committee chairman Biman Bose criticised the role played by a section of the media for “misinterpreting facts according to its own sweet will”.
Referring to the rapid increase in the prices of essential commodities across the country, Mr. Bhattacharjee said the United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre which came to power with its “ aam-admi” slogan is unable to check the spiralling prices even when it claims to have brought down the inflation. Stating that the State Government had spent more than Rs. 1000 crore to subsidise foodgrains , he expressed the inability of any state govt to continue with such huge amount of subsidies for long. “During my meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on October 24, I requested him to stop forward trading in foodgrains by large corporate houses and also make the Essential Commodities Act more stringent to check hoarding,” Mr. Bhattacharjee said.
He added that the Prime Minister had assured him of discussing the matter with his Cabinet and also on holding meetings with the States’ Food Ministers.