Amid the poll campaign in the state, Congress general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi said that four to five months after the incident occurred, the United Front which was backed by the Left parties was in power at the Centre and Communist Party of India leaders Indrajit Gupta was the Union home minister.
"We would like to know what persons like Prakash Karat, Sitaram Yechury, Gurudas Dasgupta did when Indrajit Gupta was the home minister", he said. He said the National Democratic Alliance was also in power later and they also owe some responsibility. Besides, he said, Davy, who has "suddenly" given the interview, should surrender to the authority.
Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan sought to put the Vajpayee government in the dock alleging it had taken the "most unpatriotic" decision to release another Purulia arms drop accused Peter Bleach, a former British army pilot. "The BJP has not explained why it gave presidential pardon to Bleach and allowed him to go. It has to answer to the nation why it did not take Bleach's case to the logical conclusion despite the fact that he had committed treason," she said.
The BJP denied the Congress charge that it had allowed Bleach to go free when the NDA was in power. "When were the arms dropped? The Narasimha Rao government was there. As far as Bleach is concerned, he was convicted to five or seven years in jail. He was released later. This in no ways explains or justifies that it was collusion between two intelligence agencies and the Indian government encouraged it to destabilise a democratically elected government," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
"We may have our reservations about the Left government in West Bengal but how can the government permit collusion between two intelligence agencies to permit arms drop intended to destablise a democratically elected government," he asked. "If this claim is true, it is very depressing, disturbing, and deeply condemnable."
Purulia case, a political game to destabalise Left: Karat
Left parties said the statement by Davy confirmed that there was "a well-planned conspiracy" in 1995 to use violence to topple the Left Front government in West Bengal.
CPI-M General Secretary Prakash Karat said, "All investigation at that time showed that this was a conspiracy which had international ramifications and an internal dimension. It was a political game to destabilise the Left Front government by many forces."
"The government should explain why when the British intelligence informed them and this was confirmed by Peter Bleach no action was taken to stop it," Karat said.
His colleague Sitaram Yechury said Davy's statement "completely confirms and vindicates CPIM's assertions over the past 15 years that the arms drop was planned to destabilise the duly-elected Left Front government. There was direct involvement of the Centre in it as was done in the case of Tripura earlier.
"Chidambaram, who has been accusing the Left, must answer as to how the then Congress government facilitated, sanctioned and permitted such a huge arms drop to topple an elected government," Yechury said.
CPI National Secretary D Raja said the then Congress government had tried to implement a "nefarious and sinister design" to topple the Left Front government. "We demand that the government should order a high-level inquiry into this," he said.
Davy, the prime accused in Purulia arms drop case, claimed to Times Now TV channel that the then P V Narasimha Rao government had plotted the operation to destablise the West Bengal government by arming the locals in West Bengal. He also claimed India's external intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) had planned the operation with the help of its British counterpart MI-5 on directions.
The government has rejected Davy's claims.