As the Maoists continue with their violent and disruptive activities, sections of the intelligentsia are openly expressing sympathy for their cause. Although the sympathy is often couched in rhetoric against the state and its security offensive against the Maoists, what distinguishes the Maoist sympathizers from a broader community of intellectuals and civil rights groups, who are skeptical of the intent and apprehensive of the efficacy of the Union Government’s anti-Maoists operations, is their stubborn refusal to condemn the anarchic violence and mindless killings by the Maoists.
On 4th October 2009, the Bengali daily Anandabajar Patrika carried an interview of CPI (Maoist) Polit Bureau Member Koteshwar Rao alias Kishanji where he said that Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee is their preferred choice for being the next Chief Minister of West Bengal. He even justified Maoist support to the Trinamul Congress by hailing Mamata Banerjee’s capacity to rise above class interest and adopt pro-people positions. One wonders what Kishanji and the Maoists’ take is on Mamata Banerjee’s Railway Budget passed by the Parliament few months back, which is replete with proposals of Private-Public Partnerships in developing railway stations and freight terminals to logistics parks and cargo centres. What do they have to say about the thousands of acres of land that is proposed to be acquired for the Railway freight corridor project in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar? Perhaps the Maoists also consider the FICCI Secretary General Amit Mitra, who was appointed by Mamata Banerjee as head of an expert panel to draw up business plans for the Railways, as not a part of the "comprador-bureaucratic bourgeoisie", which according to their Party Programme rules over India. Mamata Banerjee’s "interactive session" with the corporate bigwigs in Kolkata on 22nd August may also have been perceived by the Maoists as an enclave of the "national bourgeoisie" who have come on board their "new democratic revolution".
This rank opportunism of the Maoists has gone hand in hand with their devious game of turning themselves into henchmen of Trinamul Congress under the façade of pseudo-revolutionary rhetoric and joining in the massacre of CPI (M) cadres in West Bengal. Over 130 CPI (M) activists have been killed by these forces since March 2009 across the state, with more than half of them killed in the West Midnapore district alone. The victims were mostly poor peasants or agricultural workers from dalit or adivasi families. The Maoist sympathizers justified this mayhem as elimination of "class enemies" and celebrated the violence against the CPI (M) in Lalgarh as a revival of Naxalbari. The Trinamul Congress, on the other hand, aided and abetted by sections of the media, indulged in stupendous double-speak. They started by attacking the State Government for failing to control Maoist violence and questioned why the Maoists were not being banned in West Bengal. When the Central Government banned the CPI (Maoist) and the State Government started joint operations with central security forces, the Maoist sympathizers initiated shrill rhetoric against state repression. The Trinamul Congress obliged by shifting its stance and opposing the anti-Maoist operations, calling for a withdrawal of Central security forces.