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War of words over West Bengal violence

Anita Joshua

NEW DELHI: Proceedings in the Lok Sabha were disrupted at least thrice through the day on Thursday, as members of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Trinamool Congress engaged in a war of words over the violence in West Bengal. This also resulted in one adjournment of the House in the pre-lunch session.

Later, briefing the media, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury accused the Centre of patronising anarchy and violence in the State by backing the Trinamool Congress, which was allowing the Maoists to make inroads under its umbrella. “The Congress should rein in their political partner,” he said.

Referring to the Prime Minister’s description of Maoist violence as the biggest threat to internal security, Mr. Yechury wanted to know how he could then have one of his own Cabinet colleagues promote Maoists elements. “How long will this contradiction continue?” he said.

According to Mr. Yechury, the Maoists were entering new areas in West Bengal under the guise of the Trinamool Congress. “Their game-plan is to create anarchy and violence and then use it as a pretext for the imposition of Central rule so that the Assembly elections can be held under President’s Rule. This will only undermine democracy and the Constitution,” he said.

‘No objection to visit’

On whether the CPI(M) would oppose a Central team visit to the State — demanded by Trinamool Congress leader and Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee — Mr. Yechury said his party had no objection to such a visit as it would only vindicate its stand.

About the Trinamool Congress’ charge that the CPI(M) was indulging in a blood bath and killing its workers, Mr. Yechury said: “We have challenged them to give a list of their workers who have been killed. Till date, they have not done so, while we have published the list of CPI(M) workers who have been killed along with their addresses. They have killed 200 of our workers.” Earlier, the Trinamool Congress tried to raise the issue of violence against its workers as soon as the Lok Sabha met for the day. A second attempt was made after Question Hour, resulting in the two sides entering into a verbal duel, with Congress members from Kerala joining in against the Left.

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