Lalgarh meeting under apolitical banner: Mamata


Kolkata: In a bid to rope in other parties and intellectuals, as also the agitating tribals, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee Sunday announced that her party’s Aug 9 meeting in Maoist-affected Lalgarh would be held under the banner of an apolitical forum.

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“The Trinamool is ready to organise its programme not under the party banner but under the banner of Santras Birodhi Mancha (Anti-Atrocities Platform). Trinamool is more concerned at enforcing the rule of law in Lalgarh… Everyone is invited to attend the programme,” Banerjee told media persons at her Kalighat residence.

Banerjee, the principal opposition leader in the state ruled by the Communist Party of India – Marxist (CPI-M) led Left Front for over 33 years, said the party would observe Aug 9 as Democracy Day in trouble-torn Lalgarh.

“The CPI-M is trying to prevent us form entering and holding our meeting. The CPI-M is perpetrating a blood bath in Junglemahal (the forested stretches of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura districts where Maoist ultras are active). Come what may, our programme will be organised on the scheduled date,” she said.

Banerjee said though she had earlier announced that the programme will be held under her party banner, “for a greater cause we have decided not to take any constricted view”.

She also urged the people to be aware of the CPI-M leaders alleging “they were on the loose to kill the innocent people”.

Banerjee also alleged that CPI-M leaders are smuggling arms to their men across the state. “Now an arms-rain is going on in Bengal during the monsoon period,” she said.

“The CPI-M men conspiring against the Trinamool leaders and supporters, but we have to thwart their attack,” she added.

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has already opposed Banerjee’s Lalgarh programme, saying conditions there are not conducive for such a meeting.