Though agreeing that law and order was primarily under the states’ purview prime minister Manmohan Singh said the problem had acquired such a magnitude that cooperation between the Centre and the states was “absolutely necessary”.
Singh suggested the Cabinet Committee on security would discuss strategy issues such as the “limited mandate” pointed out by home minister P. Chidambaram “whenever the opportunity arises”. Government officials later hinted the CCS could revisit the nature and extent of assistance soon.
The prime minister — who faced several questions on the UPA’s handling of Naxalism — rejected a suggestion that his government had underestimated the challenge in its first term.
Singh also sent a message to the Kashmir Valley ahead of his visit to J&K next month that his government was ready for a dialogue with groups outside the political mainstream provided they shed the path of violence.