Govt will take on Naxals: PC

Govt will take on Naxals: PC

Uproar in Parliament over Dantewada massacre

Govt will take on Naxals: PC

“To counter the menace of Naxalism, we need a strong head, a strong heart and enormous staying power. I believe that the government has all the  three qualities,” Chidambaram told Parliament on Thursday.

The minister, whose strong-arm strategy got the Opposition BJP and Left parties’ endorsement in the wake of the Dantewada tragedy earlier this month, was defending his anti-Naxal approach. He was compelled to make a strong defence in the face of the Opposition criticism that the government was weighed down by differences within the ruling Congress over the anti-Naxal strategy.

Digvijay’s remark

Chidambaram’s senior Congress colleague Digvijay Singh has said the government is making a mistake by treating the Naxal problem as merely a law and order problem. He said the government was duty-bound to “resist, apprehend and, if necessary, neutralise militants who are determined to strike at the very roots of our nation.”  But he agreed on the need to combine security strategy with “more compassionate” planning towards the poor so that development takes place in the Maoist-dominated states.”

The Dantewada massacre came up for discussion in Parliament during the day after the Opposition took recourse to forcing several adjournments in both Houses to press for a discussion. Speaking after a spate of adjournments in the two Houses of Parliament over the government’s handling of the situation, Chidambaram said: “If this (what happened in Dantewada) is not a wake-up call, nothing else will wake up this country”.

Chidambaram’s reply came after the BJP accused the government of speaking in different voices as it pointed out at an article by AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh criticising the home minister over the approach to tackle the Naxals.  In the Lok Sabha, BJP leader Yashwant Sinha alleged that the Congress-led UPA government was going soft on the Naxals while the first UPA government had adopted a soft approach towards terrorists.

Sinha’s allegation infuriated the Congress MPs who demanded he withdraw his remark. UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi was also seen asking her party MPs to protest against the BJP leader’s allegation. In the Rajya Sabha, Opposition leader Arun Jaitley attacked the government, stating that the country could not lose the battle against the Maoists.

Sinha stated that the Maoists had not only massacred the security personnel in Dantewada, but also challenged the State of India. He alleged that the Government was not taking seriously its responsibility of keeping the Parliament informed about the fight against Maoists.
In the Rajya Sabha, Opposition leader Arun Jaitley attacked the government, stating that the country could not lose the battle against the Maoists. Jaitley asked the government to adopt strong security measures to tackle red ultra’s activities across the country. Citing statistics from government records, Jaitley said 220 districts in the country were affected by the ultra-leftist extremist menace, while 90 of them had “effective Maoist presence”. “The situation is alarming,” he added.