Opposition backs govt on fight against Naxals
Major opposition parties today came out in Parliament giving full backing to the government in the anti-Naxal fight but attacked the "severe division" in the Congress party and the treasury benches it felt would hamper the offensive.delhi Updated: Apr 15, 2010 21:16 IST
Major opposition parties on Thursday came out in Parliament giving full backing to the government in the anti-Naxal fight but attacked the "severe division" in the Congress party and the treasury benches it felt would hamper the offensive.
The opposition support for the government came in both Houses of Parliament, which held a special discussion on the opening day of the second phase of the Budget session against the backdrop of the massacre of 75 CRPF personnel by Maoists in Dantewada last week.
Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh's criticism of the Home Minister P Chidambaram that he was treating the Maoists issue as a mere law and order problem and accusing him of "intellectual arrogance" was exploited by the opposition to needle the government.
Leading the attack in the Rajya Sabha on the government, Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley said Chidamabaram's task has been made difficult by senior Congress leaders like Singh.
"We do not need a divided government", Jaitley said adding, "What we don't need is a government which tries to pull down its Home Minister."
Jaitley told Chidambaram not not to behave like an "injured martyr" but provide leadership in the fight against Naxalites.
Replying to the discussion in the Lok Sabha, Chidambaram said the menace of Naxalites should be faced squarely while development of the backward areas should be done simultaneously.
"The Dantewada tragedy must make us more determined, more resolute and more careful in the fight. But we should also be more compassionate towards the poor and towards development," he said.
. He said he does not not fear the Naxalites and would continue to provide leadership for the Home Ministry and the para-military forces in the fight against Naxals.
"I have no no fear of Naxals. I don't fear the Naxals. I felt when a horrible tragedy took place I should own moral responsibility as a Minister. Therefore I tendered my resignation," he said adding Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi rejected the resignation.
"I believe they have reposed their confidence in me. I will continue to provide leadership of the MHA and para- military forces in the fight against Naxal operations," he said to the thumping of desks by the ruling benches.