Tuesday, June 23, 2009

‘Stop blaming, start fighting the Naxals’

;Statesman News Service

BHUBANESWAR, 22 JUNE: Instead of resorting to a blame game and targeting the Central government, chief minister Mr Naveen Patnaik should demonstrate his will to tackle the Naxal menace, remarked Union law minister Mr Veerappa Moily here today.
The Central minister was reacting to questions on the CM’s repeated charge of inadequate support and assistance from the Centre to combat the naxals.
Look at your neighboring state West Bengal and how the Centre has responded, said the law minister, while claiming that even the West Bengal CM had appreciated the steps taken by the Central government.

"Andhra Pradesh is another example of how to deal with the problem successfully. It has had a socio-economic package working in tandem with stern police action," he noted.

"The Central government does not discriminate between states and it is always prepared to cooperate and assist state governments provided they show the right kind of resolve and determination to root out the problem.

The state has to be pro-active in such matters as hate crime, communal violence, the naxal problem etc," he said.

Replying to questions on proposed judicial reforms, the law minister said the government was examining the entire issue. "The justice delivery system needs to be improved. Pendency of cases is an issue which concerns everybody and we are according top priority to resolve this matter," he said.

Mr Moily pointed out that judicial reforms will be done only after taking the judiciary into confidence.

Referring to the accountability of the judiciary – declaration of assets of judicial officers etc - Mr Moily said the judiciary was willing to declare assets, but cited the problem of litigation a need to look into the matter. "There has to be some kind of protection for them because they cannot be running around fighting cases," he observed.

The Central minister also said that the Women Reservation Bill will be passed as soon as the standing committee provides its report. First the standing committee has to be constituted and the bill sent to it. He, however, hoped that the bill would be passed during the budget session itself. Responding to a demand for a permanent bench of the Orissa High Court in the western and southern parts of the state, Mr Moily said the Centre would have no problem in supporting such a move, provided the due procedure is maintained in terms of recommendations from the state.
He reacted sharply to questions on the rejection of Gujarat’s anti-terror bill. It cannot be an instrument to perpetrate hatred, said the law minister, while citing the controversial clauses in the bill.

The law should not be discriminatory, he said curtly and went on to note that ‘even without such a law’ the Gujarat CM was under the scanner for having misused the police force.

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