The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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RSP cries foul but coy on quitting

Calcutta, May 12: Relations between the CPM and its partner in the Left Front, the RSP, nose-dived today as they clawed each other over their roles in yesterday’s violence.

RSP state secretary Debabrata Banerjee alleged that the CPM was mostly responsible for the violence as it had lost control over the “criminal elements”, especially the late entrants into the party from the Congress.

“We want to know from the CPM leadership whether they have any capacity to control these criminals. We demand an urgent meeting of the front where we will raise these questions,” Banerjee said. CPM cadre, “virtually controlling Canning in South 24-Parganas”, are terrorising RSP supporters, he added. “They torched several houses of our supporters today.”

Banerjee said he had taken up the issue with chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and wanted to know whether the CPM would be able to rein in its cadre. “If Bhattacharjee and the CPM fail to control the situation, we will have to think.”

Asked whether the RSP was mulling quitting the front, Banerjee said: “No. We will continue our struggle against violence by keeping ourselves within the ruling coalition.”

Predictably, CPM state secretary Anil Biswas reacted sharply to the RSP’s criticism.“They (the RSP) need not poke their nose into the affairs of our party. It will be better if the RSP leaders concentrate more on the functioning of their party,” he said.

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