New Delhi: With Congress looking benignly at
Mamata Banerjee`s strong pronouncements on Maoists, the
Trinamool Congress is set to launch a fresh campaign against
rival Marxists in poll-bound West Bengal over the issue of
alleged accumulation of illegal arms.
Members of the Trinamool Congress parliamentary party
would be meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tomorrow to
plead for sending a central team to the state to expose the
alleged attempts by the ruling party to procure illegal arms
from neighbouring countries ahead of the assembly polls.
Trinamool leader Sudip Bandhopadhyay told PTI here that
the Marxists are "frightened" of defeat in the polls and wants
to use illegal arms to come up winners.
Bandhopadhyay said that the Trinamool members would also
be meeting senior leader and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee
in this connection.
He alleged that there were 59 armed camps in West Bengal
being operated by the Marxists, a charge vehemently denied by
His statement came a day after Mukherjee defended
Banerjee, the Railway Minister, saying she was entitled to her
views on the Maoists.
"The UPA is fully informed of her position in respect to
Azad`s killing. We had a long discussion with her in the
presence of the PM and Home Minister P Chidambaram. She had
stated that if Azad was killed because he was trying to
negotiate with the government then it needs to be examined,"
Mukherjee had said.
Mamata has been under pressure ever since her August 9
Lalgarh rally where she had said, "the way Azad was killed was
Meanwhile, the CPI-M asked the Prime Minister to make a
statement in Parliament regarding the Centre`s position on
Maoists in the wake of Mukherjee`s backing to Banerjee`s views
on Naxal leader Azad`s killing.
"Let the Prime Minister give a statement in Parliament
and spell out clearly the correct position of the Centre
regarding the Maoists," CPI-M West Bengal secretary Biman Bose
said in Kolkata.
Refuting Mamata`s charge that the CPI-M had set up armed
camps in the Maoist-dominated areas of West Bengal, Bose said,
"We do not have any such camps alleged by the Opposition. But
we do have some camps for the people there who were rendered
homeless by the terror unleashed by the Trinamool-Maoist