For the first time, Home Minister P Chidambaram has ruled out deployment of the military in tackling the Maoists. “We ought not to use the army or the air force in our operations against Maoists,” he said. He has been saying that there has been no such proposal before the government, without making clear what his opinion on the topic has been.
Chidambaram also said a debate is underway on how to handle the Maoist problem, conceding that divergent views exist in the Congress party.
“It’s a good debate. We are not a hardhearted, dictatorial government. This debate will help us handle the issue better,” the home minister said, indicating a fine-tuning in the declared anti-Maoist strategy.
Some Congressmen, prominent among them AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh, had questioned the anti-Naxal strategy spearheaded by Chidambaram.