Trinamool Congress chief and Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday demanded that the central government launch an army operation in Maoist-affected Lalgarh region of West Bengal and if required impose president's rule in the state.
'We want an army operation. The joint operation (by West Bengal and central forces) is not successful,' Banerjee told reporters after meeting Home Minister P. Chidambaram along with the kin of the two police officers who were abducted by the Maoists.
She also demanded imposition of Article 355 in West Bengal followed by slapping of president's rule on the state.
Article 355 of the Constitution deals with the duty of the union government to protect states against external aggression and internal disturbances and to ensure that the state's governance is carried out in accordance with the provisions of the constitution.
The Trinamool Congress leader, who accused the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) cadres of looting arms from the state government's armoury, said an army operation should be launched against the people who engaged in armed violence in the area.
'We want democracy. We want verdict from the people. Go for Article 355 first. Then impose Article 356,' she said.
Mamata said she was addressing the media as the chairman of the Trinamool Congress. She termed Chief Minister Budhadeb Bhattacharjee 'a killer' and the Maoists as 'his baby'.
'He is a killer chief minister. It (the Maoists) is Bhattacharjee's baby. I don't believe the Marxists and Maoists are separate,' she said.
'State sponsored terroism is happening in West Bengal. The Marxists are alleging that Maoists looted arms from their camps. Everyday there are murder incidents.'
'They (the Marxists) set up their camps with armoury. The Marxist cadres alongwith goons are capturing areas,' Mamata said.
She charged the central government with not taking action against the West Bengal government, asking: 'Is West Bengal an exceptional child?'
Mamata alleged that her and party leaders' phone calls were being tapped by the state government. She accused the Marxists of conducting false propaganda against her, and said she was not worried about her life.
'I'm not worried about my life. Before killing Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, they were subjected to character assassination,' she said.