Gurudas rubs tribal salt on Left govt’s Lalgarh wounds

CRPF personnel cross Jitka forest.

Kolkata: Even as the state government struggles with Maoists in Lalgarh, CPI parliamentarian Gurudas Dasgupta blamed the CPM-led government for the crisis, saying that lack of development is the root cause of the tribal discontentment.

“The situation could have been defused by taking economic and administrative measures to keep the tribals from going over to the Maoists. Action should also have been taken to stop the Maoists from building up strength,” Dasgupta said.

He was speaking at the opening ceremony of the 24th state committee meeting of All India Trade Union Congress on Saturday.

“Why was nothing done to resolve the Lalgarh situation in all these months? Why did they allow matters to reach this stage?” Dasgupta said.

He shot down the contention that the government delayed in taking steps to control the crisis as it was haunted by the Nandigram fiasco. “Fearing a repeat of Nandigram is no excuse. Lalgarh cannot be compared to Nandigram as that issue was less significant compared with what is going on in Lalgarh,” he added.

Dasgupta also raised the issue of Maoists getting support from the tribals of Lalgarh. “They manage to get so many tribals on their side due the failure of the state government. Development schemes have not reached them. The government couldn’t integrate them into the mainstream. This is our failure in providing basic amenities in spite of being in power for 32 years,” the Ghatal MP said.

Calling the Maoist movement in the country a “dangerous reality”, Dasgupta said the ongoing police action against Maoists in Lalgarh was unfortunate but necessary, since no political solution could be arrived at. “Lalgarh should be taken together with Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand while talking of the Maoist problem. The question is how do Maoists get these sophisticated weapons, how do weapons enter the country?”

Stressing that introspection was needed within the Left to decode the reasons behind the election debacle, Dasgupta said some people have the impression that the LF government was earlier pro-labour but has moved towards being pro-employer.

“We will discuss why our seats in the Lok Sabha have reduced and whether the government has moved away from the people. The new government at the Centre is barely a month old, but its stance is anti-working class,” he added.