KOLKATA: Two CPM leaders, one of them a former MLA, were killed in a clash between supporters of the ruling TMC and Opposition Left Front in Burdwan district on Wednesday, bringing to light the growing animosity between the two parties at the grassroots level.
Soon after the incident, the Left parties blamed the TMC and stated that at least 58 people from their fold were killed since Mamata Banerjee assumed office in May last year. “Two of our leaders were killed in this heinous attack… I demand an answer from the Chief Minister. Such incidents have happened when she herself is the Home Minister. It is her responsibility to prevent such incidents,” said Surjya Kanta Mishra, Leader of Opposition. Pradip Tah, former MLA from Burdwan (North), and Kamal Gayen, CPM District Committee member, were attacked in Dewandighi while taking out a procession to mobilise masses for the all-India bandh, called by the Left-backed trade unions on February 28. Reacting to the allegations, State Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim said the TMC had no hand in the killings. “The CPM has started the politics of controlling villages once again… They use force to achieve it… This is an incident of protest and the TMC is not involved… The villagers were protesting against ‘harmad’ groups belonging to the CPM,” the minister detailed.
The Chief Minister, however, maintained a studied silence on the escalation of political violence in West Bengal. Meanwhile, the police arrested four people, allegedly TMC supporters, in connection with the incident.