Modi decries Home Ministry approach

Modi decries Home Ministry approach

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday questioned the Union Home Ministry’s approach of confining the strategy to counter Maoists to only the nine affected states. Other states which fall under the left-wing extremism (LWE) “targeted regions” category should also be brought into the fold, Modi said.

Interestingly, Modi was joined by newly elected Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah (Congress) in demanding that the Maoist affected states club should be expanded. “As I have said earlier, the Maoist movement is definitely trying to disturb our state. I therefore urge the Union government to declare this (Karnataka) as a Maoist-affected state and provide central assistance,” the chief minister said in his speech at a conference on internal security.

The red corridor spreads over 82 districts in nine states including Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Maharastra, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

Speaking at the conference of chief ministers on internal security at Vigyan Bhavan, which was chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and attended by the Union finance and home ministers, Modi said he was disappointed at the “short-sightedness” of the meeting’s agenda.

“While the LWE affected states fully deserve all priority in the security response of the country, it will be an extremely myopic approach to ignore the security concerns of the LWE targeted regions,” he said in his written speech circulated at the conference.

Pointing out the need to prepare for the “next wave,” Modi said: “Today’s agenda does not even take cognisance of the serious LW threats looming large on the horizon. Gujarat for instance, is not even included in the discussions on left-wing extremism despite being a declared focus target of the Maoists in its urban plan”.

He elaborated that as per the Naxal urban plans, the ultras want to target areas of the country which are the drivers of industrial progress. “Their main target, as per their own words, is the golden corridor of the Pune-Mumbai-Ahemdabad belt, which also includes the major industrial clusters of Surat and Vadodra,” he emphasised.

However, the home ministry had a special session on LWE with the nine affected states, giving them a presentation on adopting the AP model to contain red terror.

The UPA government has also called for an all-party meeting on the Naxal issue next Monday.   Besides Gujarat, other states like Bihar and Odisha have also demanded more central assistance to fight the Naxals. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik requested for two additional CRPF battalions and a military chopper to "effectively" tackle the extremists.

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