Criminalisation of politics in WB began in 1977

Siliguri: Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday alleged that criminalisation of politics in West Bengal began in 1977 with the advent of Left Front government which, he said, decided to release hundreds of jailed CPI(M) cadres classified as criminals.

"Why are so many being killed in West Bengal today? Because the first Left Front meeting held in 1977 decided to categorise criminals in jails in the state and decided to release 1200 CPI(M) cadre classified as criminals. The criminalisation of politics began on that day in 1977," Mukherjee said at a rally here.

Alleging politicisation of every sphere of life, including the police, in the state he said, "The West Bengal police and the administration has lost its efficiency due to this."

During the attack on Parliament on December 13, 2001, 14 police personnel gave up their lives, while six policemen were killed during the American Center attack on January 22, 2002. The police were so inefficient that they could not even note the registration number of the motorcycle of the terrorists, Mukherjee said.

Speaking about the joint forces, Mukherjee said that their first task was to liberate police stations in Maoist-hit areas. "This speaks about the efficiency of the police in the state."