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Indian Railway Minister Mamata Banerji has addressed a huge rally


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A Maoist supporter in West Bengal on 8 August 2010 Ms Banerji has always denied links with the Maoists. Indian Railway Minister Mamata Banerji has addressed a huge rally - supported by Maoists - at a rebel stronghold in West Bengal. A senior Maoist leader had urged local people to attend the event in Lalgarh and thousands showed up. Analsyts say Ms Banerji's appearance at the rally will embarrass the Congress Party-led federal government.

The Maoists were blamed for sabotaging and derailing an express train which killed nearly 150 passengers in May.

Ms Banerji and her Trinamul Congress Party, a Congress ally, have always denied any links with the insurgents.

The eastern Indian state of West Bengal is one of 20 where the rebels have a presence.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described the Maoist insurgency as India's biggest internal security challenge.

At Monday's rally in Lalgarh, Ms Banerji called for negotiations between the Maoists and the government.

"I am against all kinds of terror. Terror should stop in Lalgarh and all areas around it and the counter-insurgency operations in the area should be stopped," she told flag-waving supporters.

Security forces and police have been conducting a huge counter-insurgency campaign against the rebels in the area.

A BBC correspondent in Lalgarh, Amitabh Bhattasali, says more than 10,000 rebels converged in the area to back the rally. Earlier, the police had said they would arrest any Maoist leader who attended. But there have been no arrests, our correspondent says.

 
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Posted by treeboy 2010-08-11 23:06:06
oh never trust them, alla is great
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4.
Posted by bill 2010-08-11 23:04:47
Ms Banerji called for negotiations between the Maoists and the government what a joke
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3.
Posted by north 2010-08-11 23:01:41
not sure, but would not surprise me
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2.It could be the begining of peace process
Posted by crestbest 2010-08-11 22:18:07
Maybe they are finally thinking going against indian government isnt such a good idea
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1.Its all politics
Posted by dilip 2010-08-11 09:44:10
nothing gets done anyways
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