Garbeta (WB): Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Monday blamed West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb
Bhattacharjee for failing to tackle law and order in Maoist-
dominated `Junglemhal` area and said he should have resigned
as the situation was beyond his control.
"The chief minister has told me that the situation was
beyond his control and that of his government. If he could do
nothing about it, I would expect him to resign, making way for
a new government," he told an election rally.
Chidambaram said he visited West Midnapore a year ago
amid deteriorating law and order and the district was
virtually under the control of Maoists.
"What was worse then, a police station in the district
remained locked from inside with policemen for nine months and
the state government was sleeping over it," he said.
Asserting that the Centre was determined to end the
Maoist menace, he said, it will require some time, however, to
get an upper hand on them. "We told them to give up violence
and come for talks. But they are not prepared for talks."
Claiming the CPI-M and the Maoists were the "same" as
they had ideological origin in Communism, Chidambaram said the
people in the area are facing atrocities from both of them.
Chidambaram said he had pointed out to Bhattacharjee
several times that CPI-M cadres were gathering weapons and
threatening people in the area.
"I told the CPI-M to take action, but he said his
partymen were not involved. I said there were armed camps, but
he denied. I gave him a map pointing the armed camps, but
even then, he said there were no such camps," he said.
Referring to the ongoing CBI enquiry into the firing
on villagers from an armed CPI-M camp at Netai village, he
said some CPI-M leaders have been arrested and the house of
one of the leaders from where firing took place, was sealed.
"After Netai happened, the chief minister came to see
me, but could not look me in the eye," the home minister said.
He said killings were continuing in West Midnapore
with 204 people, including 99 Trinamool Congress supporters
and 16 from the Congress killed in clashes last year. Till
April 15, 26 people, including 14 from TC and 4 from Congress
have been killed.
Terming West Bengal as a `sick` state whose government
had taken overdraft from the RBI, he said it was the only
state where several lakhs of government job vacancies could
not be filled as it did not have the funds to pay salaries.
West Bengal was also one of the `poorest` in the
country in terms of health, education and physical
infrastructure, he said.
Appealing to the people in the district to vote
without fear to install a new government, Chidambaram said he
would talk to the Election Commission to deploy central forces
at all polling booths in the district.
"During the elections, for the counting and even after
counting, full security will be provided," he said.