TNN, Oct 31, 2010, 06.59am IST
NABAGRAM: Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday ruled out any possibility of withdrawing the joint forces from Bengal despite his Cabinet colleague Mamata Banerjee going public with the demand that the Centre should give marching orders to the forces stationed in Maoist-hit Jangalmahal.
The Trinamool Congress chief has argued that the joint security forces have come to the advantage of the CPM cadres trying to regain grounds in the trouble-torn districts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia.
Talking to mediapersons after inaugurating a national integration camp at Nabagram organised by the Nehru Youth Centre, Mukherjee said: "Joint forces will remain in Jangalmahal till it is required. They have a presence in other states as well. They will stay as long as Maoists and forces like them continue to pose a threat to the government."
Mukherjee's comment comes within days of Trinamool partymen hitting the streets demanding withdrawal of the forces. A Trinamool delegation, led by minister of state Mukul Roy, had called on Union home minister P Chidambaram, explaining how CPM cadres were taking the forces' help to gain foothold in the area.