As Jharkhand falls in line and joins operations against Naxals with central paramilitary forces, Maoists could flee to Bihar if the state continues to be “soft” on them.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has been wary of taking “hard action” against the Naxals. Home Secretary G.K. Pillai had last week attributed Kumar’s ambivalent stand to assembly elections in Bihar later in the year.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren, too, had taken a similar position vis-à-vis Naxals in the run-up to the assembly polls last year. Soren, however, gave the go-ahead to operations last week.
With all other Naxal-affected states participating in the joint operations, home ministry officials said the Naxals were likely to shift base to Bihar and seek to exercise influence in the state’s politics in a more significant manner.