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Maintain Bipartisan Approach On Maoism: Chidambaram Tells BJP

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
PTI May 18, 2010 19:47 IST
PTI

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.

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 Naxals.

"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," Chidambaram said.

The Home Minister said as far as the mandate of 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 with Naxals.

"In a robust democracy, there will be some differenece 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. PTI