Sunday, April 11, 2010

Nitish questions strategy against Naxals

K. Balchand
NEW DELHI: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday took a dig at Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram's offer to resign in the wake of the Dantewada massacre of CRPF personnel, and disapproved of his strategy in countering naxalism.

During his interaction with the media at the Indian Women's Press Corps, Mr. Kumar frowned at Mr. Chidambaram's action underscoring that there was no need for such theatricals at such a critical juncture. “Where is the need for it when all know that the Prime Minister will reject it? Is there any need to talk so much?”

He lashed out at the Home Minister and Home Secretary G.K. Pillai for the kind of language they used to hit out at those who digressed from their opinion. “What language is this? How can you approve of Mr. Chidambaram's language against West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee? The Home Secretary says Bihar is not cooperating in the fight against Naxalism.”

Mr. Kumar charged that both of them did not seem to be applying their minds before saying anything. “They are making statements without thinking of the issues. The Home Secretary would do better to leave such issues to his political bosses. My status prohibits me, and will it be proper to set my Home Secretary against the Union Home Secretary to negate his folly?”

Basic problems

On the Centre's strategy to counter Naxal violence, Mr. Kumar counselled that brashness barely yielded any gain. The Naxalite problem could not be tackled through police operations. “You can have limited success. There might be failures too. But this is no solution to the basic problems.”

The Chief Minister said action was necessary if the law and order situation so demanded and underscored that such actions were taken even in Bihar. “But, where is the need to raise your tone or tenor.”

Development process

Mr. Kumar said it was equally important to unroll the development process. That means development with justice and not just setting big factories and projects which had no meaning to them.

The delivery system had to be toned up and corruption uprooted so that the poor got their due.

“We are against violence and don't approve that it be countered through violence. And it is not possible to counter this challenge merely through the State's police force.”

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