People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


Vol. XXXV

No. 05

January 30, 2011

Centre Turning Blind Eye to TMC-Maoist Gang-up: Karat

 

Rahul Sinha

 

THE central government prefers to turn a blind eye to the collaboration between the Trinamul Congress (TMC) and the Maoists. On the other hand, in West Bengal the CPI(M) and the Left Front are putting up political resistance to the Maoists, which is why their cadres are becoming the target of Maoist violence. This was what CPI(M) general secretary, Prakash Karat, said in a press meet at Agartala on January 23. At the concluding day of his three-day visit to Tripura, Karat addressed a press meet on the day at the CPI(M)ís Tripura state committee office in the state capital.

 

In his opening remarks, Karat accused the centre of total failure to check the skyrocketing rises in the prices of food articles including vegetables and onions. Karat lambasted the centre for its refusal to ban the forward trading in food articles and its unwillingness to universalise the public distribution system (PDS). He said despite our repeated demand, there has come no meaningful action from the centre. So we have decided to launch a countrywide anti-price rise agitation from February 3 to 9. In addition to the four Left parties, viz. the CPI(M), CPI, RSP and FB, parties like the TDP, AIADMK, BJD, RLD and JDS have also decided to join the movement. On February 9, a mass dharna would be held at Delhi, where central leaders of these parties will be present.

 

Karat said we want the budget session of the parliament to function smoothly, but to avoid disruption the government must agree to the demand of a JPC probe into the 2G scam. Parliament is supreme in a parliamentary democracy. Karat said our understanding is such a huge scam must be probed widely and comprehensively, which can be achieved by a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) alone while the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) can have a very limited inquiry.

 

On the issue of black money deposited in Switzerland and other foreign tax havens, Karat severely criticised the centre for not disclosing the details of these accounts. He said the Supreme Court too is dissatisfied with the governmentís argument that international agreements donít allow for disclosure of these details. The government must take initiative to bring back the huge amount of illegal money deposited in the foreign banks, he demanded.

 

On the day, Karat reiterated the demand of the four Left parties made to the prime minister one year ago to declare January 23, the birthday of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, as Desh Prem Divas. He termed as unfortunate the prime ministerís reply there are a large number of freedom fighters in our country and that it is difficult to observe everyoneís birthday. Karat said we have a tradition of observing the birthdays of many freedom fighter; for instance, Nehruís birthday is observed as Childrenís Day. He appealed all the political parties to support this demand.

 

Karat said as far as West Bengal is concerned, we have pointed out to the central government and its home ministry that while the joint forces sent by the centre are combating the Maoists, the TMC is openly collaborating with the Maoists even though it is a part of the same government. The TMC is in fact quite openly supporting and aiding the Maoist violence, Karat said. During his meeting with the union home minister, the West Bengal chief minister has submitted a detailed report on the TMC-Maoist collaboration but yet the centreís preference is to turn a blind eye to all this. Karat asked the centre to ensure that the TMC ends its collaboration with the Maoists. Rubbishing the media reports that there is a contradiction between the West Bengal chief minister and the central leadership of the CPI(M) regarding the approach to be adopted to tackle the Maoist menace, Karat said we know well   which section of the media is resorting to such propaganda. He said after the chief minister had a meeting with Chidambaram at Delhi, he met the Polit Bureau members of the party at its Central Committee office and briefed them about the discussions. Later, at a press conference, he said a few armed groups are active in the Jungle Mahal area but the West Bengal government is committed to stop the violence by any of the armed groups. Yet some sections of the media went on to write that the chief minister had admitted the presence of armed camps. The CPI(M) has already clarified that armed camps and armed groups are two different things. In fact, the chief minister had not said anything wrong. There is no contradiction between the party and the West Bengal government or its chief minister regarding how to tackle the Maoist problem.

 

Karat said the Maoist problem is not a problem of Bengal alone. They are active in seven states. The situation in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh is a serious concern. They are better equipped with modern weapons and are resorting to guerrilla tactics. No state with its ordinary police force can combat them effectively. Replying to a question, Karat said other political parties in other states are not prepared to politically resist the Maoists. On the other hand, in West Bengal the CPI(M) and the Left Front are  resisting the Maoists politically by mobilising the masses against them. That is why we are becoming the targets of Maoist violence.

 

Earlier, on Friday (January 21), Karat addressed a meeting at the Agartala Town Hall in connection with the birth centenary celebration of Comrade Nripen Chakraborty. On Saturday, he addressed the open rally in connection with the 13th central conference of Tribal Youth Federation (TYF) at Manughat in Dhalai district.