New Delhi: Dipankar Bhattacharya, the general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation says that if the state police and the paramilitary continue with their operations in Lalgarh in West Bengal, it will be difficult to arrive at a lasting solution to the problem. The 48-year-old Bhattacharya has been a general secretary of the party since 1998. The CPI (ML) Liberation was an underground organization till the 1990s; since then it has been contesting elections as a political party. Bhattacharya says that all the political parties concerned, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Trinamool Congress as well as the Congress have let down the people of Lalgarh. In an interview with Mint, Bhattacharya says the fallout of Lalgarh could be more strife across the country.
No solution: CPI (ML)’s Dipankar Bhattacharya. Ramesh Pathania / Mint
On the impact of the ban on CPI (Maoist).
The paramilitary assisted state police operations in Lalgarh in West Bengal and the home ministry’s decision on Monday to include the Communist Party of India (Maoist) in the schedule of banned organizations will lead to more strife in Naxalite-affected parts of the country. The tough stand taken by the Union home ministry will end any possibility of a dialogue between the Naxalites and the state governments in various parts of the country.
On the possibility of a peaceful solution at Lalgarh.
The Centre has not given a chance to arrive at a peaceful solution in Lalgarh. How does an operation facilitate a dialogue?
On how the Union and state governments should have reacted to the situation at Lalgarh.
The Lok Sabha election in West Bengal was about Nandigram, Singur and Lalgarh, where people were demanding doing away with special economic zones, scrapping forcible land acquisition and curbing police atrocities. Instead of honouring this mandate from the people, the Central government is now trying for a military solution in Lalgarh. The need of the hour was to talk to the people of Lalgarh and address the issues raised by them.
Given that armed Maoists had taken over Lalgarh, was a peaceful solution possible in the first place?
If the Centre (under the Congress-led UPA government) could back the Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh to talk to the Maoists in 2004, I fail to understand why they are unable to try something similar in West Bengal.
The Centre has also exaggerated the situation in Lalgarh to legitimise their operations.
On his party’s electoral performance.
We were an underground organization that joined the democratic process in 1992 and fought elections for the first time in 1995 in Bihar. The party contested 80 seats across the country during the Lok Sabha election this year and polled 10,45,000 votes in all. Though the party did not win a seat, it won 2.75% of (the) votes in Jharkhand and 1.90% votes in Bihar.
On his party’s stand on Maoists.
We also have been at the receiving end of Naxalite violence, having lost several of our cadre in Bihar and Jharkhand after they were attacked by the Maoists. We do not agree with the ways of the Maoists.