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Govt to decide on air support against Naxals: Singhvi

Congress today distanced itself from senior leader Digvijay Singh on the issue of air support to tackle Naxal menace, saying it was for the government to take a decision.



New Delhi: Congress today distanced itself
from senior leader Digvijay Singh on the issue of air support
to tackle Naxal menace, saying it was for the government to
take a decision and there were no differences within the party
on the matter.

"All support is being given to fight the Naxals. Air
support, logistic support and movement of paramilitary forces
is a matter of detail. Let there be no doubt on this," party
spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told reporters here.

The spokesman said such decisions (on air support) are
taken by the government and not by a member of the Congress
party, adding, "It requires discussion, it has not been ruled
out."

Asked about the statement of party General Secretary
Digvijay Singh disapproving use of air-support, except for
troop movement, Singhvi said, "It is a democracy. He has
given his view. He is entitled to it".

Singhvi also sought to put to rest doubts about any
divisions in the Congress party on the issue and said there
were "no differences".

Asked whether the Home Minister P Chidambaram`s hands
were tied in the fight against Naxals as he had said he only
had a limited mandate, the Congress leader said this had
been clarified by the minister himself.

"Limited mandate is from the Constitution... The Central
government has been giving all kinds of assistance but the
main role to fight the Naxals is of the state government,"
he said, adding that law and order was a state subject and at
the ground level, the responsibility was of state governments.

He, however, quickly added that the nation was one on the
issue and described the measures adopted by the red-rebels as
"barbaric and unthinkable violation of human rights".

Singhvi maintained that there is no criticism of any
Chief Minister (in handling the issue). "We do not believe in
politicising it," he said.

About Chidambaram`s statement that he needs to revisit
the issue (of air support) and go back to the Cabinet, Singhvi
said, "It was a dynamic and evolving situation which required
a dynamic response".

-PTI

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