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Topics: Lok Sabha, Manmohan Singh, Indian National Congress Pages: 2 (468 words) Published: August 10, 2010
NEW DELHI: Mamata Banerjee's rally at Lalgarh rocked Parliament today with an aggressive BJP and the Left joining hands to target the Trinamool Congress and seeking to embarrass the Centre over the Railway Minister's alleged hobnobbing with Maoists.

"Why is the Prime Minister silent? Will the Centre continue operations against Maoists after the Railway Minister's statement that Operation Greenhunt will be stopped," BJP Deputy Leader Gopinath Munde said in Lok Sabha.

Dubbing as "shameful" Banerjee's making common cause with the extremists, he referred to her statement questioning the encounter death of Maoist leader Azad and dubbing it as murder. "Will the Centre conduct a CBI probe into the death which has been questioned," Munde asked.

CPI(M)'s Bansagopal Chowdhury also accused the Trinamool Congress with being hand-in-gloves with Maoists and asked the Centre to explain the presence of extremists in the Lalgarh rally.

Apparently embarrassed by the opposition onslaught, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in the Lok Sabha that the government would "ascertain the position from the Railway Minister" before saying anything.

In the Rajya Sabha, Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley led the attack on the government saying "what we find today is that the principle of collective responsibility is being breached and there is a disagreement on the policy of the government" towards Maoists.

He said the Prime Minister on several occasions has termed the Maoists as the single largest threat to internal security and all ministers are expected to follow the government policy as collective responsibility.

Noting that the Prime Minister has been silent on various issues like Kashmir and Commonwealth Games, Jaitley said, "Silence at times can be a weapon of convenience, but conspiracy of silence cannot be allowed."

Making a strong defence of the Trinamool Congress chief, party leader in Lok Sabha Sudip Bandopadhyay said Banerjee took the message...
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