New Delhi: Home Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday appealed to all political parties, especially the BJP, to
maintain a bipartisan approach in dealing with Maoists and
said it is the state governments which have the primary
responsibility to tackle the menace.
"I would urge BJP and other political parties to continue
to maintain as far as possible a bipartisan spirit and
approach to dealing with this challenge to India`s security,"
he told reporters here.
Chidambaram was reacting to BJP leader Arun Jaitley`s
statement that he looked like an "injured martyr" and was
given a "limited mandate" in taking tougher action against
"I believe he (Jaitely) said that I look like an injured
martyr. I think it was an unfortunate choice of words. If he
had reflected for a moment, he would not have used those
words. The injured and the martyrs are both in Chhattisgarh
among the jawans and the SPOs who were injured and died,"
The Home Minister said as far as the mandate of the Central
government was concerned, he had already explained it and its
mandate was to help the state governments take to meet the
challenge of Naxalites by providing paramilitary forces,
intelligence and tactical assistance.
"It is the state governments which have the primary
responsibility to tackle the menace of Naxalism. It is in that
sense that I said that our mandate is a limited mandate. But
if you play upon words like limited mandate, I could turn
around and say that it is the state governments and the chief
ministers who have an unlimited mandate," he said.
Chidambaram said the chief minister is the head of the
state government and he can undertake whatever steps he wishes
to undertake to meet the challenge of Naxals.
"The debate in Parliament and outside so far has been
bipartisan. There is a broad agreement on how we should deal
"In a robust democracy, there will be some differences in
the manner in which each one articulates his or her view. But
I would urge BJP and other political parties to continue to
maintain as far as possible a bipartisan spirit and approach
to dealing with this challenge....," he said.