Fresh effort for CM-Mamata meeting to stop Bengal violence

West Bengal State Housing Minister, Gautam Deb, on Friday made a fresh effort to reach out to Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee to make her agree to a meeting with Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

Last Updated: Jan 14, 2011, 14:31 PM IST

Kolkata: As political clashes witnessed a spurt in West Bengal, the state`s housing minister, Gautam Deb, on Friday made a fresh effort to reach out to Trinamool
Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee to make her agree to a meeting with Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

Deb, who failed to contact her over phone yesterday, sent her an SMS today with his proposal for a meeting to discuss the volatile situation.

``I feel that the chief minister, Mamata Banerjee and senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee should sit together and discuss the issue. If such a meeting is held and if they issue an appeal, violence can be stopped. Only police cannot stop political clashes,`` Deb, a CPI-M central committee member, said.

He said the chief minister is concerned over the growing violence and the issue concerning political clashes in the state had been discussed threadbare at the state secretariat meeting of the CPI-M yesterday.

After that meeting Deb tried to contact Mamata Banerjee over phone last night with the permission of the chief minister and CPI-M state secretary Biman Bose, but could not establish contact.

"I tried to talk to Mamata Banerjee to request her to sit with the chief minister and work out a solution to the ongoing political violence. She was, however, not available over the phone," he said.

Asked if she did not agree to such a meeting, Deb wondered, ``Yesterday she said that her party does not want revenge. It wants change (in government). All parties will campaign during election. If they win the poll and she becomes chief minister, how can we stop?"

"In political clashes, some Trinamool supporters are also getting killed. So why will she not agree to sit for a meeting to stop violence and save lives?" he wondered.

Deb, however, admitted that if she did not agree, such a meeting would be of no use and it would be difficult to contain political clashes.

There were 38,000 villages in the state and the police could not be deployed everywhere, he argued, saying that the CPI-M leadership had to restrain party activists and Trinamool on its part had to ensure that their workers did not resort to
violence.

PTI