Left government neglected tribals in Lalgarh, admits Bardhan


New Delhi : Bringing to the fore fissures in West Bengal’s ruling Left Front, alliance partner Communist Party of India (CPI) has said the state was being run as “a one-party government more or less” and the rise of Leftwing extremism in Lalgarh was due to “neglect”.

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CPI general secretary A.B. Bardhan, who made the charge, also said that neglecting the cause of tribals in the state had paved the way for the rise of opposition Trinamool Congress in the state.

Participating in CNN-IBN’s “Devil’s Advocate”, Bardhan said West Bengal was being run as “a one-party government more or less” and the lack of consultation with other Left party leaders was one of the failings of the Left government.

On the Lalgarh operation and the reasons for the Maoist upsurge, Bardhan said it was due to “an element of neglect” and in “not undertaking the work that should have been done, particularly in an area inhabited by tribal people”.

“There is a need for paying special attention to the tribal people, development and all that,” he said.

Asked whether he accepted that the Left government in West Bengal is guilty of neglect, the veteran communist leader said though the government had done a lot for the tribal people, they failed to take the agrarian reforms further.

“They neglected it. Yes, I will say so. If the Left Front government was not failing in some respects, what scope would the Trinamool have? None. Mamata Banerjee or the Trinamool leadership can take advantage of only our weaknesses,” Bardhan said.

Bardhan also slammed the Left leaders for their “arrogance”.

Asked whether he only had Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leaders in mind when his party said that Left leaders should shed their arrogance, Bardhan said: “Including my leaders also.”

“Some of my leaders are also in positions of authority. In West Bengal and Kerala, the governments are the local bodies, anybody who comes to power tends to become a bit arrogant,” Bardhan said.