Mamata Banerjee not moved by truce SMS from Left

Kolkata: The ruling CPM in West Bengal has SMS-ed Mamata Banerjee, suggesting that the Railways Minister meet their representative to discuss the recent clashes between workers of the CPM and her Trinamool Congress (TMC).

Gautam Deb, the Housing Minister, sent Ms Banerjee this text: "I am sure that you are in heavy mind in view of growing violence, perpetuated by different quarters in the state. I would like to talk to you with a proposal to make a break on this episode of violence."

The SMS was sent with the consent of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya.

Mr Deb says the Left would like to see a joint session between Ms Banerjee, the Chief Minister and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. "I couldn't contact her (on phone) notwithstanding my best efforts for one hour. That's why I have sent a message this morning. I hope she will find time to respond in a civilized manner," said Mr Deb. But his inbox is unlikely to see an addition from Ms Banerjee's party. "Calling people here and there, sending smses...what is this nonsense?" asked the TMC's Partha Chatterjee, describing the text initiative as "a political stunt."

In a series of letters exchanged two weeks ago, the CPM was virtually ordered by the Home Minister, P Chidambaram, to disband its armed cadres. Mr Bhattacharya is to meet Mr Chidambaram on the 19th of this month to discuss the increased political violence in the state.

Meanwhile, West Bengal Governor MK Narayanan will visit the Netai village in Lalgarh on Wednesday. Seven people were killed here on the 7th of this month, allegedly by CPM workers. Another woman who had been fired at died in hospital today.