Weakness of Centre is emboldening Maoists: Mamata

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The weakness of the government at the Centre is emboldening the Maoists, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told a rural poll rally at Lalgarh in Jangalmahal on Monday.

“Why should Maoists be entering West Bengal from Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam and Odisha? The Centre needs to be more responsible in curbing Maoist infiltration into the State,” Ms. Banerjee said.

She also said that her life was under threat from the extremists. “Whenever I come to Jangalmahal, I get threats that the Maoists are planning to kill me. If the Centre was strong, they [the extremists] could not have conspired in such a way.”

The Trinamool Congress chairperson also accused the CPI (M) of joining hands with the Maoists, alleging that they, along with the Congress and the BJP had formed a pact against her party.

“We will bring back peace in Jangalmahal. Those who have disrupted peace here have now come together. The politics of terror and murder cannot win people’s hearts,” Ms. Banerjee said.

She also appealed to the people of Lalgarh to refrain from casting a single vote to any of the independent candidates. “These candidates are taking money from both the CPI(M) and the Congress,” she alleged.

Without mentioning her, Ms. Banerjee also criticised State Election Commissioner Mira Pande for her role in deciding the panchayat election schedule. It has been “changed thrice and is now going to be held during the Ramzan month.” This would not have happened if Ms. Pande’s term had not been extended when the Left Front was in power, she charged.

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