Fresh effort for CM-Mamata meeting to stop Bengal violence

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Kolkata, Jan 14 (PTI) As political clashes witnessed aspurt in West Bengal, the state''s housing minister, GautamDeb, today made a fresh effort to reach out to TrinamoolCongress supremo Mamata Banerjee to make her agree to ameeting with Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

Deb, who failed to contact her over phone yesterday, senther an SMS today with his proposal for a meeting to discussthe volatile situation.

''''I feel that the chief minister, Mamata Banerjee andsenior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee should sit togetherand discuss the issue. If such a meeting is held and if theyissue an appeal, violence can be stopped. Only police cannotstop political clashes,'''' Deb, a CPI-M central committeemember,said.

He said the chief minister is concerned over the growingviolence and the issue concerning political clashes in thestate had been discussed threadbare at the state secretariatmeeting of the CPI-M yesterday.

After that meeting Deb tried to contact Mamta banerjeeover phone last night with the permission of the chiefminister and CPI-M state secretary Biman Bose, but could notestablish contact.

"I tried to talk to Mamata Banerjee to request her tosit with the chief minister and work out a solution to theongoing political violence. She was, however, not availableover the phone," he said.

Asked if she did not agree to such a meeting, Debwondered, ''''Yesterday she said that her party does not wantrevenge. It wants change (in government). All parties willcampaign during election. If they win the poll and she becomeschief minister, how can we stop?"

"In political clashes, some Trinamool supporters are alsogetting killed. So why will she not agree to sit for a meetingto stop violence and save lives?" he wondered.

Deb, however, admitted that if she did not agree, such ameeting would be of no use and it would be difficult tocontain political clashes.

There were 38,000 villages in the state and the policecould not be deployed everywhere, he argued, saying that theCPI-M leadership had to restrain party activists and Trinamoolon its part had to ensure that their workers did not resort toviolence.

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