Buddha attacks Maoists before fifth phase polling

Going back foot over the carnage at Netai in which nine villagers including four women were shot dead by goons hired by the Maoists, Bhattacherjee made some candid talking at the party headquarters here, saying the incident should not have happened.

“We have learnt some lessons from the Netai incident. This kind of incident should not have happened,” Bhattacharjee told newsmen here. But the chief minister was silent on the legitimacy of the armed camps on the issue of which the CPM drew a lot of flak from the union home minister P Chidambaram who campaigned in the Naxalite hotbed of Lalgarh earlier this month.

Asked about Chidambaram’s charge of Bengal being the worst administered state in the country, Bhattacharjee shot back asserting that the Union home minister would do well by not “playing the role of a doctor” as he “does not need his advice in administering Bengal”.

“What is happening in Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh? Instead of playing doctor here, he should get his act together in those places. I ask Chidambaram to concentrate on his own job. I know my job,” Bhattacharjee retorted.

The Trinamool Congress has lodged a complaint with the Election Commission against the chief minister for “violation” of the model of conduct by addressing a news conference on the eve of the fifth phase of polling,

However, Bhattacherjee reiterated his allegation of the Maoist-Trinamool nexus and argued that the Maoists’ call to boycott the polls was part of an understanding with the Trinamool to defeat the Marxists.

“I’ve heard Maoists have asked the voters in Jungle Mahal not to vote. But I would request them to vote without fear. This is a game plan to defeat us and help the Trinamool,” said Bhattacharjee.

Rejecting the charge of underdevelopment as one of the main reasons for the rise of the Left-wing ultras, the chief minister claimed that the Left government had given the rights of land to tribals living there for a long time.

Meanwhile, Maoist leader Kishenji alias Koteswar Rao issued a statement stating that while the ultras have given a call for boycott, people willing to cast their ballot will not be prevented from doing so.

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