PC Naxal plan faces Digvijay fire
P Chidambaram’s anti-Naxal strategy is under attack. It’s not the BJP this time, which had, in fact, rallied behind the home minister after the Dantewada massacre.delhi Updated: Apr 15, 2010 01:26 IST
P Chidambaram’s anti-Naxal strategy is under attack. It’s not the BJP this time, which had, in fact, rallied behind the home minister after the Dantewada massacre.
The assault is from within his party — Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh.
Singh took on Chidambaram in a newspaper article, where he wrote that he differed with the home minister over him treating the Naxal issue as only a law-and-order problem.
The Congress, after a meeting between chief Sonia Gandhi and senior leaders, including Chidambaram, said Singh’s views were personal, indicating support for the home minister.
The Congress was a democractic party but “such views should be expressed within the party forums”, said general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi.
The issue, however, will come in handy for the Opposition to corner the government in the second half of the Budget Session that begins Thursday.
The BJP made its intent known. “... It is evident there is no unanimity in the Congress on the fight against Maoists,” said spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad.
The BJP-led NDA will seek suspension of Question Hour on Thursday and ask for a statement on Maoist violence.
Singh’s article comes shortly after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reportedly directed the cabinet secretary to write to all ministers not to criticise the handling of the Maoist issue or go public with their views on the Left-wing extremism.
Clearly, this did not cover party leaders.
Singh wrote: “In this case (regarding Maoists), I have differed with his (Chidambaram’s) strategy that does not take into consideration the people living in the affected area… He is treating it purely as a law and order problem without taking into consideration the issues that affect the tribals… When I raised these issues with him, he said it was not his responsibility.”
Singh said he has known Chidambaram since 1985. “He is extremely intelligent, articulate, committed and a sincere politician — but extremely rigid once he makes up his mind. I have been a victim of his intellectual arrogance many times, but we still are good friends.”