Lalgarh rally to be a turning point after Nandigram, Singur: TMC

The West Bengal government in a climbdown agreed to give permission for the August 9 rally.

rally at Lalgarh on Monday in `Jungle Mahal` prior to the assembly elections in West
Bengal next year.

`Jungle Mahal` has 18 assembly seats, a majority of which are held by the CPI(M).

"A movement will be built up in Jungle Mahal in the coming days for restoration of peace, democracy and development which will be a turning point after Nandigram and
Singur," senior Trinamool Congress leader and union minister Sisir Adhikary told a news agency from Lalgarh.

"The Nandigram and Singur mass movements contributed to the defeat of the CPI(M) in Bengal," he said.

`Jungle Mahal`, the Maoist-affected areas of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts, were Left bastions in the 2006 assembly elections and the last year`s Lok Sabha
polls with the Trinamool making no headway.

The West Bengal government in a climbdown agreed to give permission for the August 9 rally and roll back prohibitory orders for it in the heart of `Jungle Mahal` after the
Trinamool Congress rejected conditions set by it.

The Centre has allowed the state government to deploy the CRPF for the rally which would be addressed by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee.

Banerjee had last visited West Midnapore district on January 15 for a rally at Jhargram where she had given a call to the Maoists to come forward for talks after giving up arms.

The Trinamool Congress chief, who has denied the CPI(M) allegations of links with the Maoists, has called the rally under an apolitical banner, to which top Maoist leader
Kishenji and the Maoist-backed People`s Committee Against Police Atrocities have announced support.

Kishenji and the PCPA have cited the presence of social activists Medha Patkar and Swami Agnivesh, who are expected to share the dais with the Trinamool Congress chief, as the reason for their support.

"We are not holding the rally under the Trinamool banner, but the Santras Birodhi Manch (Anti-terror Committee)," Adhikary said.

Asked about support by Kishenji and the PCPA`s decision to join the rally, Adhikary said, "Mamata Banerjee is going to Lalgarh for peace. We do not know if anyone is supporting us."

He alleged, "In the name of joint operations, the CPI(M) is committing atrocities on tribals. The Marxists have set up 42 arms training camps at Lalgarh, Goaltore, Salboni and Binpur."

WBPCC president Manas Bhunia said though the party was yet to receive a formal invitation he wished the Trinamool Congress chief success with the rally.

"We are wishing success to the rally as it is directed against the stifling of democracy and torture on innocent tribals by the ruling party," he said.

The green signal for the rally came from the government in spite of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacherjee saying recently that it could not be allowed because of the Maoist threat in Lalgarh.

CPI(M) state secretary Biman Bose has alleged that the Trinamool banner has been withdrawn form the rally to make room for Maoists.


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