Buddha slams Chidambaram over Maoist violence remark

West Bengal CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee attacked P Chidambaram for expressing disappointment over handling of Maoist violence in Lalgarh.

Updated: Jan 03, 2010, 21:25 PM IST

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Sunday attacked P Chidambaram for expressing disappointment over handling of Maoist violence in Lalgarh, saying the way the Union home minister dealt with the Telangana issue was not expected from him.

Asserting that he was not at all disappointed with the state government`s response to the Lalgarh situation, he said, "I am taking all steps to tackle the situation. He (Chidambaram) may have been disappointed, but I am not. I know how to tackle the Maoists."
He wondered why Chidambaram was keeping silence on states where the same Maoist problem exists.

Bhattacharjee questioned Chidambaram`s midnight announcement on Telangana which, he claimed, had given the impetus to statehood demands in Darjeeling and Coochbehar districts in West Bengal.

"The whole country is disappointed with you (Chidambaram) the way you have dealt with the Telangana issue. We are facing consequences in Darjeeling and Coochbehar districts where demand for separate states have got a new lease of life," Bhattacharjee said at a function to mark the 44th anniversary of the launch of CPI mouthpiece `Gana Shakti`.

Without naming Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, Bhattacharjee asked, "Was he keeping in mind coalition dharma in expressing his disappointment and was he pleasing his coalition partner?"
Chidambaram on December 31 in Delhi had described as "pretty depressing" the situation in Lalgarh, the Maoist stronghold in West Bengal, where the state government has allegedly failed to contain the movement of the ultras.

A letter was also sent by the Union home minister to Bhattacharjee on the issue earlier.

The Chief Minister said he had asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during a recent visit to Delhi why the decision to create a separate Telangana state was taken at midnight, though later the Centre stated that a consensus had to be reached first.

"Why was the announcement made before the consensus was reached?"
Bhattacharjee also did not like the Union home minister`s comment that his (Bhattacharjee`s) recent letter to Chidambaram on Maoist problem was too short.

He said, "Normally, I do not comment on government correspondences, but I had to say this as his letter on Lalgarh issue was too short. When I next meet him in Delhi, I will tell him my letter was too short because his letter was too long."

He once again took a swipe at the Trinamool Congress for colluding with the Maoists in killing cadres and leaders of his party CPI-M.

"The Maoists are cowards. They raid homes of them and brutally kill them who are defenceless," Bhattacharjee said, adding the extremists are using Jharkhand territory to launch attacks in West Bengal.