KOLKATA, Sept. 3: The attack on the under-construction Reliance Fresh outlet in the city by members of the students' wing of All India Forward Bloc has earned bouquets from the Maoists in the state.
The CPI-Maoist state leadership has written a letter to the central committee of AIFB, complimenting its students' wing and daring its senior leadership to follow suit, following the attack. "Alimuddin Street or your chief minister Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee might have been irked by such an act (the attack on the Reliance Fresh outlet) of embarrassment to the favourite corporate houses, but the CPI-Maoist salutes the students who were desperate to break free from the politics of inaction, inertness and appeasement.
How long will you keep your subdued existence in the 'Left' Front family with your big brother CPM determined to woo MNCs, World Bank, Indian compradors to loot West Bengal? Your student wing has done a commendable job, but has your organisation played any credible role of a militant Left in the past three decades of 'Left' Front rule, uninterruptedly receiving the blessings of World Bank, DFID, MNCs and Indian corporate houses?" the letter questions the leadership of AIFB.
Signed by the CPI-Maoist state committee secretary, the letter, was sent to AIFB central committee on 27 August, ten days after members of the latter's students' wing ransacked an under-construction Reliance 'Fresh' retail outlet in Girish Park.
Incidentally, even BJP workers had ransacked the same Girish Park outlet on 26 August and members of Trinamul Congress were allegedly involved in a similar attack on another under-construction Reliance 'Fresh' outlet near Uttarpara in Hooghly district on 19 August. But, no such 'letter of appreciation' was sent to the leadership of either the BJP or the Trinamul Congress from the Maoists side.
While taking a dig at the CPI-M for its "forcible acquisition of peasants' lands in the name of industrialisation" and the "dirty policy of opening the retail trade to Indian compradors and multinational companies," the Maoists called on the All India Forward Bloc leadership to: "fight tooth and nail the pro-imperialist, pro-capitalist, pro-rich policies of the so-called Left Front government. However, it is never possible from within the CPM-led 'Left' Front government.
"The CPI-Maoist will always make a common cause with you and any other force that really wants to do battle against the criminal forces out to destroy common people…."
The Reliance group had decided to defer roll out of its retail network comprising 145 stores in various parts of the state following the attacks. It had planned to open 50 Reliance Fresh retail outlets in Kolkata, six of which were slated to go on stream soon.