President Pranab Mukherjee with governor Syed Ahmed in Delhi on Wednesday. Telegraph picture
New Delhi, Jan. 30: The Centre’s thrust on Jharkhand’s security scenario during President’s Rule was evident as it asked governor Syed Ahmed to step up anti-Naxalite operations and improve law and order in the state on a day the latter’s adviser urged guardians in Ranchi to ensure better policing.
Ahmed met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, President Pranab Mukherjee, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde today during his first visit to Delhi after President’s Rule was imposed in Jharkhand earlier this month.
“As Maoists have been considered to be more aggressive during central rule in the state, possibly taking advantage of political vacuum, the Centre wants the governor to be strict and vigilant,” said a source close to Ahmed.
A source, who accompanied the governor during most meetings, added, “As there is no possibility of a Congress-JMM coalition staking claim to form a government, it is evident that President’s Rule is here to stay.”
President’s Rule came into force on January 18 after the JMM withdrew support to the BJP-led government.
The Centre appointed former Union home secretary Madhukar Gupta and former CRPF director K. Vijay Kumar as the governor’s advisers, signaling that it was keen to give momentum to anti-Naxalite operations.
In Ranchi, the duo today met the state police brass and CRPF officials deputed in Jharkhand to fight Naxalites.
Meanwhile, a communiqué issued by Raj Bhavan stated that governor Ahmed discussed efforts taken by the state administration under him to boost welfare and development schemes.
“The governor also discussed issues related with the 2013-14 budget of the state. During the meeting with the home minister, governor discussed efforts taken to improve law and order in the state,” it added.
Sources said the Centre also asked Ahmed to transfer powers to the elected panchayat representatives, which had been urged by Rahul Gandhi during his trip to Jharkhand last year.
The rural representatives have been demanding devolution of power after elections to the panchayati bodies were held in November-December 2010 as no real administrative or financial powers have been vested in them so far.