Buddha to mend mistakes

“We know we’ve committed some mistakes for which we’ve to make amends and we’ll do it. But some leaders in our party are refusing to mend and as a result, the entire party is earning a bad name,” Bhattacherjee told a massive Left Front rally at the historic Brigade Parade Ground.
 
“Some local (party)leaders and cadres had been behaving arrogantly and this had led to resentment among the people. I call on them to correct themselves and go to the people and politely admit their mistakes.” 

The chief minister was perhaps alluding to the massacre of nine persons, including four women, at Netai in the troubled Lalgarh region last month and the CID’s declaration of prize for five absconding CPI(M) leaders of West Midnapore district who had been named in the FIR.

Mamata bashing
In the same  breath, Bhattacherjee also took on the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress, accusing it of being in hand in glove with the Maoists in the plains and “divisive” Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) in the hills of Darjeeling.

Asserting that the state government would not allow any further division of Bengal, he cautioned the TMC against playing “a dirty game” with the Maoists and GJM.

Show of strength
 The rally, a show of strength for the Front which is facing its most crucial test of survival in the next election, is attended by thousands of supporters brought in vehicles from across the state.

Bhattacharjee said “It’s evident that we are ready for the fight at the Assembly elections.”

Stating that his Government is ready to hold talks with the GJM to resolve the Darjeeling problem, he made it clear that the Gorkha outfit would have to shun the path of violence first before any talks can be held. We’re ready for talks but we cannot compromise with violence. Development is not possible in the absence of peace”.

Darjeeling conflict
Bhattacherjee’s observation came in the midst of the on-going indefinite shutdown in the Darjeeling hills following the February 8 police firing in which two GJM supporters were killed.

However, faced with protests and pressure from the locals, the GJM leadership had to withdraw the shutdown in the plains of Dooars and Terai in North Bengal. The first round of negotiations between the Centre-appointed interlocutor Vijay Madan and the GJM ended in vain on Saturday.

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