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I don't want power at the cost of peace and stability in West Bengal: Mamata

Staff Reporter

— Photo: AFP

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee addresses a gathering in Kolkata on Friday to pay homage to three party activists who were allegedly killed by Communist Party of India (Marxist) cadres in separate incidents.

KOLKATA: Expressing “serious concern” over the regular incidents of political killings and bloodshed in West Bengal in the run-up to the Assembly elections, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee said on Friday that she was ready to renounce her quest for political power if peace and stability returned to the State.

The Trinamool took out a mourning procession here with the bodies of three party supporters allegedly killed by CPI (Marxist) cadres in two separate incidents in Bardhaman district on Wednesday and Thursday.

Addressing the procession after paying homage to the slain men, Ms. Banerjee said: “How much more blood will be spilled in the State? I do not want political power of West Bengal in lieu of such regular bloodbath. I only want peace and stability to return.”

Criticising Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee for arming the CPI(M) cadres and “ordering” them to kill people to materialise his “greed” to latch on to power, she accused the CPI(M) of turning the entire State into a “city of the dead.”

Pointing out that the body of one of the slain supporters, Dilip Ghosh, was found in a mutilated condition that was “beyond recognition,” Ms. Banerjee claimed that the sight of the body left her “flabbergasted with shock and grief.”

“It is the handiwork of frenzied harmads. Sorry Mr. Bhattacharjee but I do not know any other language to describe those demons that are capable of carrying out such brutality and are devoid of any sense of humanity,” she said.

Slamming the CPI(M)'s charge that she was engaged in ‘politics over the dead', Ms. Banerjee lashed out: “When you kill people with guns and brutally mutilate their bodies in an act of vengeance it is not politics but it is so when we show respect to the dead and their families.”

Referring to her party's repeated complaints to the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister about the alleged atrocities perpetrated by the CPI(M) across West Bengal, she said that even though justice had been denied so far, she still believed in democracy and the power of the ballot.

“I do not believe in military rule and will reply to the bullets fired at us through the ballot. Even if I and all my workers are killed in this struggle, we will not leave the path of democracy,” Ms. Banerjee said.

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