Thursday, July 23, 2009

Centre scores Naxal point: ‘hit states ruled by Oppn’

Express news service

Posted: Thursday , Jul 23, 2009 at 0223 hrs
New Delhi:

In probably the first statement of its kind, Home Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday sought to indirectly put the blame for growth of naxalism on Opposition parties, saying that Naxal-affected states, barring Andhra Pradesh where the situation is more or less under control, were all being governed by non-Congress government in the last decade.

Replying to the debate over Demands for Grants for the Home Ministry in the Lok Sabha, Chidambaram prefaced his observation with the comment that he did not want to make a political point and then went on to do exactly that. “None of these (Naxal-affected) states have been ruled by the Congress in the last 10 years. If the argument is that Naxalism breeds because of lack of development, then those responsible for governing these states must take the responsibility for lack of development in these regions,” he said. “If the argument is that they are also ideologically misdirected, I tend to agree. Yes, they are ideologically misdirected,” he said.

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Chidambaram conceded that the government may have “underestimated the potential threats” from Naxalite groups in the past, but it was following a clear-cut two-prongedstrategy comprising winning back the areas and concentrating on their development.

He said the country continued to face grave threats to its security from cross-border terrorism and dealing with it was a continuous process. “Let there be no illusion. The terrorism threat that this country faces has not diminished. We have to raise our level of preparedness. It is a work in progress,” he said.

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