Revolution in South Asia

An Internationalist Info Project

CPI(Maoist) continues to defy Banerjee’s threats

Posted by redpines on October 31, 2011

Tribal woman whose home was destroyed by Indian state forces

When Mamata Banerjee and her populist party, the Trinamool Congress, won elections in West Bengal last May, the bourgeois press claimed she would be good for the CPI(Maoist). Some outlets spread more direct disinformation, suggesting the two parties had some kind of secret alliance. The truth has been quite the opposite. Since her election, Banerjee has tried to undermine the Maoist influence in West Bengal through offers of talks, attempts to undermine Maoist-led development, and now, threats. The Maoists, for their part, have not been phased, continuing their program of building clinics, schools, infrastructure and insisting on self determination for tribal peoples. The following article from the Times of India gives a glimpse of the kind of political power the CPI(Maoist) holds in India’s fourth-most populous state. 

CM not serious about peace process: Maoists

Oct 30, 2011

MIDNAPORE: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s seven-day ultimatum has hardly had its desired effect on the Maoist guerrillas camping in Jangalmahal. Akash, the state secretary of the Maoists, said they will not seize to demand basic rights for the tribals. While this strong note is a major jolt in the peace process, jailed tribal leader Chhatradhar Mahato’s wife Niyati Mahato, on the other hand, accepted talks offer floated by Trinamool leader Mukul Roy and assured to meet him on November 3.

“We want peace. But we can’t accept the peace proposal leaving the basic rights of the tribals and their right to self determination,” said Akash, who claimed his people are not afraid of the CM warning.

Simultaneously, Niyai has been invited by Roy to initiate talks. “Jaydeep Mikherjee from the legal aid forum had offered us talks with Roy. We are eager for the dialogue,” said Ashok Jiban, convener of the Santras Durnity Birodhi Committee, an umbrella outfit believed to be floated by the Maoists.

The Maoist state secretary claimed that since they offered the ceasefire, they did not involve in any violence despite several provocations and kept their word. But the state government failed to keep their word and continued their operation against the Maoists.

“We have strong doubts that Mamata is not serious about the peace process and her proposal is just an eye-wash,” said Akash.

The rebel leader also claimed that common people of Jangalmahal did not participate in Mamata’s rally in Jhargram as her government failed to keep her promises made before the polls. Even the Maoist state leader claimed that they had not planted any IED on the tracks near Sardiha and did not threaten people to stay away from Mamata’s rally.

The strong reply from the Maoists, however, could not pull back Niyoti to meet Roy. Maoists are believed to be closing all doors of dialogue as they reasoned that they have been losing trust on the interlocutors. But Chhatradhar is still optimist to start talks. ” We always advocated for talks. But any dialogue should be in official level,” said Ashok Jiban, convener of Santras Birosdhi Committee. The change of stance once again put the Jangalmahal situation under speculation.

Maoists are not worried about the ultimatum announced by the state chief minister Mamata Banerjee, said rebel leader Akash, who is now in charge of state unit of the rebel outfit in Bengal. Virtually ruling out Mamata’s ultimatum to the Maoists for laying down arms within seven days, the rebel leader clearly stated that despite most stringent steps from the government they will not leave the demands of basic demands of tribal rights.

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