NEW DELHI, October 31st, 2009: Reacting sharply to Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s comment that the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) till recently considered Maoists as “comrades in arms”, the Left party’s head Saturday said he “has chosen to ignore the history of the Maoist movement”.
“Far from being the CPI(M)’s ‘comrades in arms’, the Maoists have always been unremittingly hostile to the CPI(M),” party general secretary Prakash Karat said in a statement.
“After they (Maoists) split away from the CPI(M) in the late 1960s, the ultra-Left elements in West Bengal targeted the party and hundreds of CPI(M) cadres and supporters lost their lives due to their depredations in the early 1970s,” Karat said.
Expressing surprise the home minister had “chosen to ignore the history of the Naxalite/Maoist movement”, Karat said it was “amusing to see Mr. Chidambaram claiming that the CPI(M) saw the Maoists as their allies in fighting the bourgeois Congress”.
Taking a political swipe at the CPI(M), Chidambaram Friday said: “Till the last session of parliament, CPI(M) had different views of Maoists. They thought they (Maoists) were comrades-in arms fighting the bourgeois Congress. They have woken up now.”
Karat refuted the home minister’s claims saying they were “misplaced” and the “fact is that the earlier (United Progressive Alliance) UPA government led by the Congress was propped up for four years with the support of the CPI(M).”
Don’t equate Maoists with Laskhar, Jaish
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) Saturday said Maoists cannot be equated with the Laskhar-e-Taiba or the Jaish-e-Mohammed militant groups.
We have always held that the Maoists have to be fought ideologically and politically apart from resort to firm administrative measures when they indulge in violence, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat said in a statement.
The Maoists cannot be equated with the Laskhar-e-Taiba or the Jaish-e-Mohammed. The fact that Home Minister (P. Chidambaram) has offered to talk to the Maoists, if they stop the violence, itself recognises this difference, Karat said.
Criticising the laws that have draconian provisions, Karat said such laws have been used against hundreds of innocent people, mainly from the Muslim community in the name of fighting terror.
Chidambaram Friday said the government had not asked the Maoists to lay down their arms, but reiterated his appeal to the left wing radicals to halt the ongoing violence and come forward for talks.