Digvijay will have explaining to do on article on Maoists | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Digvijay will have explaining to do on article on Maoists

delhi Updated: Apr 16, 2010 23:16 IST

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AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh, who appears to have stirred a hornet's nest with his remarks on naxalism, will have to do some explaining to the party leadership on his newspaper article critical of Home Minister P Chidambaram when he returns from the US next week.

A senior party leader, who did not want to be identified, parried questions whether Singh would be asked to clarify.

He said that the AICC has already sought to disapprove the way Singh aired his opinion in public and that he should have raised it within the party forum.

Singh had in his recent article described Chidambaram as extremely rigid and intellectually arrogant and disagreed with the Home Minister's strategy of dealing with the Maoist issue as a law and order problem.

Party managers are baffled over Singh's statement and its timing just before resumption of the Budget session, giving fodder to the opposition besides opening a debate in the party circles itself on the issue of tackling the naxal problem.

Chidambaram's exhaustive reply in the Lok Sabha notwithstanding, the controversy refuses to die down with some Congress leaders in private expressing their disagreement with the hardline approach to tackle the naxal problem.

A senior party leader said that going hammer and tongs against the naxals will unnecessarily bring the Centre into direct confrontation with Maoist support base, fighting whom is basically the job of state governments.

Naxals have presence in over 200 districts of the country, where they are said to be in a position to influence voting patterns.

Currently most of the naxal affected states are being ruled by non-Congress parties except Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Chhattisgarh, where the CRPF killing took place has a BJP government in place for last two terms. In Bihar and Jharkhand, BJP is ruling in alliance with JD-U and JMM respectively, while Orissa is ruled by BJD and West Bengal by the Left. BJP is in power in Madhya Pradesh, another affected state.

Congress leader K Keshava Rao said in the Rajya Sabha yesterday that Naxals are "no enemies" and there was a need to talk to "Naxal friends".

Rao, who is also AICC in-charge of Naxal-affected states like Jharkhand and West Bengal, said that talks are important as the "ugly face of our distributive justice" does not reflect the real situation.

Another senior party leader Mani Shankar Aiyar has already gone on record supporting Singh's views on the matter.

Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid had also emphasised on the need to address socioeconomic issues to solve the naxal problem last week immediately after the Dantewada incident.