BJD, Congress fight over Centre's Maoist remarks

BJD, Congress fight over Centre's Maoist remarks

Toeing the life of its leader and chief minister Naveen Patnaik, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) hit out at the Centre, particularly at Union Home Minister P Chidambaram over the Maoists issue.

The BJD on Monday alleged that the Union Home Ministry’s recent letter to the DG of Odisha police was politically motivated. The letter has held the state government responsible for growing menace of Maoists.

BJD vice-president and former state minister Damodar Rout said that the letter was sent for political reasons. “Naveen Patnaik had vehemently opposed the Centre’s proposal to form the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC). This could have prompted the home ministry to send the controversial letter,” he said.

Raut said that Patnaik’s close association with his Tamil Nadu counterpart J Jayalalitha has irked Chidambaram.

It may be noted that the Odisha CM had also suggested the Centre to constitute a sub-committee of chief ministers under Jayalalitha’s leadership to look into the NCTC issue during the last chief ministers’ conference in Delhi.

Meanwhile, the state unit of the Congress, the principal opposition party in the state, reacted sharply to the BJD’s criticism.

“Instead of criticising the Centre and Chidambaram, the BJD should advise its government to initiate steps to control the Naxal menace”, said senior Congress leader and party’s chief whip in the state assembly Prasad Harichandan.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Harichandan, a former state home minister advised the ruling BJD to disassociate itself from organisations having links with the Maoists. “If the BJD sincerely wants to end the Maoist menace in the state, it should not have any association with the naxal backed organisations,” he said.

He was referring to the BJD’s decision to take the help of Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha (CMAS), considered to be a front organisation of the Maoists, during last Zilla Parishad elections in tribal dominated Koraput district. The BJD managed to win the chairmanship of Koraput ZP with the backing of CMAS.

Naxals kill cop in Chhattishgarh

Naxalites gunned down a police officer in the naxal-hit Kanker district of Chhattisgarh and injured a contractor in Pankhajur.

Police said on Monday that Assistant Sub-Inspector Dilip Kumar Sinha, posted at Bande police station, was returning to his duty from Bande village on motorcycle late night on Sunday when a group of armed naxalites started firing at him. “Sinha was hit and collapsed and by the time police teams rushed to the spot, his condition was critical while the naxalites escaped,” police said.

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