Kolkata, Aug.30 (ANI): Senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday said that Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee holds the right to express her views and with regard to Maoists, her recent statements do not contradict with the stated policies of the UPA Government.
During a book release function here, when Pranab was asked if Mamata was actually opposing UPA's stand on Naxal issue, despite being an ally of the ruling governement at the Centre, he said: "I don't think so. We are fully aware of our position in respect of Azad's killing. We had a long discussion with Prime Minister, Miss Mamata Banerjee, P Chidambaram, Union Home Minister and myself. She has clearly explained, she has stated that if Azad is killed because of the factor that he was trying to have negotiations with that...that position could be explained," said Mukherjee.
Mukherjee further said that he did not feel Banerjee's statement contradicted the UPA's state policies.
"Recently, Andhra Pradesh government has also explained the situation and the circumstances under which this killing took place. Therefore, I do not think that what she stated has any contradiction with the stated policies of the UPA Government," said Mukherjee.
Mamata, at a recent rally in the Maoist affected Lalgarh region of West Bengal had condemned the killing of Azad, terming it a serious blow to peace initiatives between the government and Maoists.
Mamta had also demanded a judicial probe into the matter.
Azad was killed in an encounter with the State police in Andhra Pradesh on July 2.
Mukherjee further said that if Banerjee thought the Maoist issue could be solved through dialogue, then every person has the right to express it.
"Coalition partners follow declared policies of a coalition government but if someone considers that the Maoist problem can be solved through dialogue, then the person has every right to express her opinion and that does not mean that she has links with the Maoists. There is no reason for such complains," said Mukherjee.
Banerjee had recently called upon the Maoists to abjure violence and come forth for peace negotiations with the Central Government. Her statements had received a lot of flak from the opposition parties, blaming her for having nexus with the rebel outfit. (ANI)