Saturday, April 28, 2007

Government denies taking soft approach towards terror

New Delhi, April 28 : The government Saturday denied it had a soft approach towards terrorism and that it adopted a middle path by bringing together all the sections in dialogue to deal with militancy in Jammu and Kashmir and the northeast.

Replying to a discussion on demands for grants for the home affairs, Home Minister Shivraj Patil said the government's approach has been proved a success and the ground situation in Jammu and Kashmir has improved a lot.

Patil said the government was contemplating constitutional amendments to arm it with powers to send forces to troubled spots in states, but said a decision on such an amendment would be consensual.

Terming the issue "too delicate", Patil said the government would evolve a consensus on it. "No unilateral action will be taken by the government in this regard... It will be done only with consensus," he said.

Patil said the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government's policies have been able to bring in a "healthy and secure environment" in the trouble-torn regions. According to him, the round table conferences to bring peace in Kashmir have succeeded in bringing together different sections.

Explaining the steps taken by the government to tackle the Maoist rebellion in some states, Patil said the government has adopted a "balanced human approach." He said the central government had strengthened the force and upgraded their weaponry in Maoist rebellion-hit states. "It will take a little more time to show the results," he assured the Lok Sabha.

Earlier, the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) criticised the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh-led government accusing it of making the country a "soft state", but the ruling party MPs attacked the opposition for "the communal politics" it has played.

In a lacklustre debate, initiated by Shahnawaz Hussain, the BJP reiterated its apprehensions over the repealing of draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), the Congress and the Left unleashed an attack on the BJP, citing the staged shootouts in Gujarat and its anti-minority stance.

Congress's Madhusudan Mistry, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)'s Mohammed Salim and Samajwadi Party's Ramjilal Suman were among those who took part in the discussions.

Putting demands for grants for various ministries, the Lok Sabha Saturday passed Rs.235.9 trillion relating to various ministries by voice vote.

The finance bill will be put on voting May 3. It will be taken up by the Rajya Sabha May 5.

--- IANS

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