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‘TC-Maoist connivance may undermine WB polls’

Warning that "active connivance" between Trinamool Congress and Maoists could undermine the upcoming Assembly election process in West Bengal, Left parties today asked the EC to take steps to ensure free and fair polls.

New Delhi: Warning that "active connivance"
between Trinamool Congress and Maoists could undermine the
upcoming Assembly election process in West Bengal, Left
parties today asked the Election Commission to take steps to
ensure free and fair polls.

Despite improvement in the situation, "significant
challenges remain for the holding of peaceful, free and fair
elections, given the spree of violence let loose by Trinamool
Congress with the active connivance of the Maoists", the four
parties told the EC top brass in a memorandum here.

This, they said, could be the "central factor which can
undermine the due electoral process."

Regarding the visit by an EC team comprising mainly police
officials to West Bengal, CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury told
reporters, "We told the EC that it was an unprecedented move
(to send the team) when elections are yet to be declared."

Moreover, he said, the team visited "only those areas
which were pointed out by the opposition party (Trinamool) and
not where we would have liked them to visit ... those places
where large number of people have been evicted by Maoists from
their hearth and home."

He said the EC requested the Left leaders to submit a list
of areas where they wanted the team to visit.

People were still living in camps, away from their homes,
for the fear of Maoist attacks. "They are genuine voters and
we want the EC to ensure that they exercise their right to
franchise," the CPI(M) leader said.

In response to the gruesome killings by Maoists, a large
number of people in three affected districts of Purulia, West
Midnapore and Bankura "have come out to collectively protest
and isolate the Maoists. This has also been a key factor for
the success of the joint operations," he said.

Leaders of CPI(M), CPI, RSP and Forward Bloc met CEC S Y
Quraishi and his colleagues and submitted a list of 335 people
killed recently by the Left extremists, which they said were
"largely targeted killings of activists, leaders and
organisers of the Left parties."

"Of the 335 Left cadres, 125 were tribals and the rest
poor agricultural labourers and women," Yechury said after the
40-minute meeting.

"In no other Maoist violence-affected state you can find
such a large number of civilian casualties, nor do they
consist of political opponents of the Maoists," the Left
leaders told the Commission.

The Left leaders, including General Secretaries of CPI and
Forward Bloc, A B Bardhan and Debabrata Biswas, RSP leader
Abani Roy and CPI(M)`s Basudeb Acharia and Nilotpal Basu, said
a "very dangerous feature" was that Maoists were "conniving"
with Trinamool Congress since the Nandigram events of 2007.

Quoting National Crime Records Bureau data on the numbers
of incidents and those killed, the memorandum said, "The
campaign of violence by Maoists are proving to be so
worrisome and lethal because of the overt and covert support
they receive from the Trinamool Congress."

In this context, Yechury said the leaders submitted copies
of media reports, statements by Maoist leaders and excerpts
from a book by Trinamool Congress MP Kabir Suman to buttress
their allegations about "the reality of the Maoist-Trinamool

The Left leaders also referred to recent reports of the
arrest of a Trinamool Congress leader as he was taking two
Maoists, injured in a landmine blast, for medical treatment
from West Bengal to Orissa.

"The threat of violence still remains as the Maoist terror
apparatus is yet to be completely dismantled," the memorandum
said, adding that the Trinamool Congress was emboldened by its
association with the extremists and continued their violence
against political opponents in some other districts of south
Bengal, the memorandum added.


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