BJP backs Chidambaram on Naxal issue, attacks Sonia

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - 19:34

New Delhi: BJP on Tuesday accused UPA chief
Sonia Gandhi and other top Congress leaders of supporting a
"softline" towards Naxals and warned that giving a "limited
mandate" to Home Minister P Chidambaram in the fight against
the menace was akin to waging a losing battle.

Batting for Chidambaram, who had yesterday said that
he was given a limited mandate on the issue of taking tougher
action against the Naxals, the BJP hit out at the Congress-led
government for waging a "half-battle" against the Maoists, who
blew up a bus yesterday in Dantewada killing 35 people.

"Chidambaram appeared to be an injured martyr. He
looked disheartened...He claimed he had only a limited mandate
from the Cabinet Committee on Security as against the larger
mandate that he desired," Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha
Arun Jaitley said at a press conference here.

"It is time the Prime Minister stood up and spoke on
the issue and told the nation what are his views on the
subject. Is he only in favour of a limited mandate to fight
the Maoists?," he said.

He asked the government whether the country would see
a "half-battle" against Maoists or it will use all national
security resources to eradicate Naxalism.

Referring to Gandhi`s recent letter in a Congress
journal addressed to her party workers, the BJP leader alleged
that it showed that she lent support to the softline on
Maoists.

This meant Chidambaram had a limited mandate- as he
himself stated in an interview- to fight Naxalism, he said.

He claimed that while the opposition was lending all
support to the fight against Maoist violence, Congress and the
UPA were involved in demoralising the security apparatus.

"It is no longer peripheral leaders who want a soft
stand against the Maoists. It is the Centre-stage leadership
of the party, which has now supported that stand," he said.

This is akin to fighting Maoists with one hand tied,
he added. "A half battle against Maoists can never succeed. A
half battle is a losing battle," Jaitley said.

Jaitley maintained that there are no two views on the
need for a multi-pronged approach to fight the Maoists.

The Rajya Sabha MP also rubbished arguments that lack
of development was the prime cause of Naxalism.

"India cannot accept the logic that Maoists are merely
misguided ideologues. They are a violent and brutal
organisation who with the use of force want to overthrow
India`s Parliamentary democracy....There will be no space for
ideological dissent. Elimination of opponents and dissenters
will be the rule," Jaitley said.

He maintained that if development alone could solve
the problem, the entire nation would welcome it.

"But in order to ensure development and poverty
eradication in the secluded Maoist dominated areas, they must
first be entered to establish the rule and governance of the
civilian administration," he said.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - 19:34

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