Thursday, April 15, 2010

PC crippled by own party: Jaitley

India Blooms News Service

New Delhi, April 15 (IBNS) Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley on Thursday said Home Minister P Chidambaram has been ‘crippled’ by his own party (Congress) over the Maoist issue.

Jaitley, Leader of the Opposition, was speaking on the debate on Dantewada Massacres of Security Personnel in the Rajya Sabha here on Thursday.

“The UPA government wasted the five years of the UPA-I by neither understanding the problem nor suggesting a solution. The Maoists activities grew in this period. When the present Home Minister took over, we had some hope that he, at least, understood the problem. But the developments of the last few days have saddened us,” Jaitley said.

“ Saddened not because our security forces suffered a temporary setback but because in the middle of a battle, a battle which this nation can not afford to lose, we find that the Home Minister is crippled by his own party and colleagues.”

Jaitley further said: “The Home Minister said that we need a strong mind, a strong heart and staying power to fight the Maoists. What you have said is true, but a divided government, a divided UPA, and a divided Congress Party have become a liability in the fight against Maoism.

“The General Secretary of the Congress Party in a signed article says that the Home Minister has ‘intellectual arrogance’. ‘It is development not security action which will fight the Maoists’. Mani Shankar Aiyer agrees with him; and Mamata Banerjee made a statement that there are no Maoists in Lalgarh. She has called for suspending the joint operations. She has further called for arresting the West Bengal Chief Minister.

“Look at the paradox. We, the Opposition, could have attacked the Government but we chose to stand shoulder to shoulder with the government. We refrained from asking for the Home Minister’s resignation, because we do not want Maoists to rejoice.”

The BJP leader said, when the Home Minister made a snide remark against the West Bengal chief minister, the Chief Minister acted with a ‘sense of maturity’.

“The whole Opposition and the nation want the battle against Maoists to succeed. Unfortunately, the government, the UPA and the Congress Party is divided. Some want the Home Minister to fall, some dispute his approach, some have ideologically gheraoed him.

“When the security forces want air force, another department of the government denies it. Did the Home Minister behave like the injured soldier because of this?

“The Home Minister is responsible for India’s security. He can not be seen as an injured soldier gheraoed by his own party. The Home Minister will have to eventually decide where he stands in this conflict. Does he stand for a fight to finish against the Maoists? Does he stand with the nation- or he succumbs to party’s discipline and gives up the fight. It is the Congress Party which is becoming a liability in this battle against Maoism.”

Jaitley said Chhattisgarh is a state which has geared up to fight the menace of Maoism more than any other state and yet the Dantewada massacre is a great setback to demoralize the anti-Maoist operations.

The senior BJP leader further said the object of the Maoist movement is to capture the Indian state through armed insurgency.

“They (Maoists) want to overthrow the government. They want a system of ideological dictatorship, no ballot, no enterprise, no freedom and no fundamental rights. They want to achieve it through guerilla army. They want to capture the rural areas. They want these to become secluded islands of their authority,” said Jaitley.

“They thrive in poverty and therefore they do not want development in any backward area. They extort money from contractors, farmers, employees and traders. They recruit cadres by paying them Rs. 3,000 per person per month. They snatch weapons from the armory of the government.

“Their extortion amount is Rs. 1,500 crores a year. They believe that power flows from the barrel of the gun. They believe that the enemy’s armoury (police weapons) is their armoury. They want to encircle the cities and then capture power. They earlier wanted to kill class enemies, now they call them police informers. They use opium and poppy cultivation to collect money.”

Saying that Maoism is a militarized movement, Jaitley said it will have to be fought by the security forces.

“The secluded areas need to be recaptured and recovered. If development activities are continued before recovery of these secluded areas, the resources would be looted by the Maoists. We need development. We need an end to social and economic inequalities.

“We need to isolate, the ideological Maoists from the militarized wings. We need to fight the movement, ideologically rather than rationalize them.

“After you recapture the area, you need the coordinate with the centre and the states.”

Jaitley said Chidambaram needs to improve his interpersonal relations with the Chief Ministers.

“He (Chidambaram) needs to ignore the advice of the ‘half Maoists’ in his own party. He needs to counter the allies, who sympathize with the Maoist cause. And he needs to ignore these new ‘anti-insurgent experts’, who are weakening the battle against Maoism.

“The nation and the Opposition will stand shoulder to shoulder with the government, but there are many creeping down to weaken the Home Minister. The Home Minister’s strength to ignore his own colleagues is on trial,” said Jaitley.

Earlier, the same day (Thursday), both houses of the Indian Parliament were adjourned twice due to an uproar over the Dantewada massacre.

Members of the Hindu nationalist BJP were demanding the Dantewada Naxal attack issue to be raised in the house immediately.

Maoists had butchered 76 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans in a coordinated landmine blasts and firing attack at Dantewada district in Chattisgarh, a state in central India, on April 6.

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