The BJP, which until recently openly backed Home Minister P. Chidambaram's policy on Maoists, on Wednesday accused him of "retreating" into a softer line.
The party claimed Chidambaram’s position had undergone a radical shift in the last 48 hours.
The BJP said from advocating tough action by central forces and the police to flush out the Maoists, the home minister had now taken the position that Maoism, a “law and order problem”, was to be tackled by states and the Centre could only give logistical support.
The BJP said the home minister was now re-defining his “limited mandate” comment in an interview. It added that a day
earlier, Chidambaram had clearly used the term to mean lack of consensus in the UPA on his tough line.
“Maoism is a problem that spreads across states and requires strong central action,” said BJP spokesperson Prakash Javdekar.
“While maintenance of public order is the responsibility of the state, the defence of India, protection of national sovereignty, deployment of paramilitary forces or armed forces are exclusively the responsibility of the centre,” a BJP leader said.
The BJP recalled that on TADA — which was opposed on grounds of violation of state list — Congress had argued that “a law and order problem can easily transgress into destabilisation of the nation”.
Meaning, when this kind of situation arises, the Centre can step in, rather than staying away on the grounds that “law and order is a state subject”.