THE HINDU, 22nd JANUARY, 2011
Apprehending that Trinamool-Maoist “connivance” could affect the West Bengal Assembly polls later this year, the Left parties on Friday urged the Election Commission to ensure a free and fair exercise.
While acknowledging that there was an improvement in the situation, the Left parties said significant challenges still stood in the way of holding peaceful, free and fair polls, “given the spree of violence let loose by the Trinamool Congress with the active connivance of the Maoists in the Jangalmahal areas.” This “is the central factor which can undermine the electoral process”.
Briefing the media after a delegation called on Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Qureshi here, Communist Party of India (Marxist) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury said the EC sending its team to the State even before the polls were announced was an “unprecedented move.”
The team went to areas that were mentioned by the Trinamool and not those places the Left parties would have wanted it to visit, especially where the Maoists evicted a large number of people.
“In no other Maoist violence-affected State can you find such a large number of civilian casualties, nor do they consist of political opponents of the Maoists,” said a memorandum presented by the Left parties.
Quoting National Crime Records Bureau data on the number of incidents and those killed, the memorandum said: “The campaign of violence by Maoists is proving to be so worrisome and lethal because of the overt and covert support they receive from the Trinamool.”
The delegation submitted copies of media reports, statements by Maoist leaders and excerpts from a book by Trinamool MP Kabir Suman, to back the charge of nexus, and also a report on the killing of over 300 people recently in Maoist violence-affected districts.