Raipur: The CPI (Maoist), which had claimed responsibility for the May 25 attack that left many Chhattisgarh Congress leaders dead, yesterday denied that the incident had any political link.
In a press release, Secretary of the Dandakarnya Special Zonal Committee of the outlawed party, Ramanna, ruled out any political conspiracy behind the attack and said both BJP and Congress were blaming each other for it just to take political mileage ahead of assembly polls.
The outfit also apologised for death of Dinesh Patel, the son of son of PCC chief Nand Kumar Patel, in the incident.
But both the ruling BJP and Congress, which have been pointing fingers at each other for the attack, questioned the veracity of the “press release”.
Leader of opposition in the Chhattisgarh Assembly Ravindra Choubey demanded a probe into it, claiming that BJP was behind the statement.
He questioned the timing of the “press release”, as assembly polls are scheduled for next month in the state.
“BJP is afraid of losing its ground in Bastar in coming elections and its involvement behind the release cannot be ruled out,” he said The BJP, in turn, alleged that the Congress had orchestrated the “conspiracy” ahead of elections.
“Why Ramanna had to come out with explanation that it was not a political killing?,” BJP state spokesperson Srichand Sundarani has said, alleging a collusion between the Congress and Naxals.
“It is an attempt to save few faces of Congress allegedly involved in the attack,” he alleged. The CPI(M) said the Bastar attack was revenge for Salwa Judum—anti-Naxal vigilante group—and operation green hunt against Naxals.
Naxals had ambushed a convoy of Congress leaders in Bastar, killing 27 people including state Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel, his son Dinesh, tribal leader Mahendra Karma who had founded the Salwa Judum and ex-MLA Uday Mudaliyar.
Senior Congress leader Vidya Charan Shukla (84), who was seriously injured in the attack, succumbed two weeks later at a Gurgaon hospital.