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Trade to temper rhetoric with China, says Rijiju

New Delhi, May 28: Union minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju today indicated that trade might temper rhetoric on Chinese incursions into Arunachal Pradesh.

Chinese incursions have put the UPA government in a spot more than once. In Ladakh’s Daulat Beg Oldi area, it had led to a standoff and prompted both sides to hold talks and make the forces retreat.

As an opposition politician, Rijiju had reacted angrily to the reported incursions in Chaglagam in eastern Arunachal. Today, the MP from Arunachal Pradesh smiled when asked about how he would react to it as a minister and said that commercial interests were important in shaping political affairs.

China became India’s largest trading partner in 2011 when bilateral trade reached a record $74 billion. There has been fall in Indian exports since, but whether it is infrastructure or power, India has its eyes on collaborating with the Chinese.

Rijiju, who was in a meeting with Union home minister Rajnath Singh yesterday and met senior home ministry officials this afternoon, also said they would review and fast-track the ongoing negotiations with militant outfits in the Northeast.

“We will do a complete reassessment of the talks with Northeast outfits and do this on a positive note. We will not derail the talks but fast-track them,” he told The Telegraph.

Some of the important negotiations on the table are the talks with Ulfa and the NSCN (Isak-Muivah).

Home ministry sources said the Naga talks, which are currently stagnant, would take a direction only after the new government takes a view. However, the NDA is unlikely to disturb the territorial integrity of Manipur. A core demand of the NSCN (I-M) is integration of Naga-inhabited areas, including parts of Manipur.

On security of people from the Northeast outside the region, Rijiju told BJP leaders to translate the points mentioned in the party manifesto into concrete proposals to Rajnath Singh, DoNER minister V.K. Singh and himself.

The party has promised a cell in every police station of Delhi to cater to people from the Northeast.

The new incumbents at North Block, who will take charge tomorrow, are determined to redefine the security apparatus. “We have worked out the broad contours of the new security policy based on a review of what the UPA has done in the past 10 years,” Rijiju said.

For one, the term Naxalism is likely to be replaced with Maoism.

“We will want to do away with the term Naxalism and call it Maoism. Maoism is an institution and an ideology that we are fighting,” he said, confirming that simply conducting security operations was not the solution.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had termed “left-wing extremism” as the single biggest internal security challenge for the country. The NDA administration is unlikely to disagree with Singh’s opinion — it may go further.

Rijiju said the government would form security policies according to the ground situation. “The ground situation in Jammu and Kashmir is different from the Maoist areas and from the Northeast. So the policies will be formulated according to the ground situation in the respective areas.”

According to Rijiju, the NDA government is not per se opposed to the National Counter Terrorism Centre, a pet plan of P. Chidambaram, home minister in the UPA government.

“But we will have to see how we go ahead. If we have a new mechanism or a new legislation then it (NCTC) may not be needed,” he added.

As a young MP from the Northeast, Rijiju was liked by Atal Behari Vajpayee and enjoys closeness with Modi also. As he had worked with Rajnath Singh in the party, the junior minister is likely to be more important at North Block than the stature enjoyed by his two UPA predecessors, Mullappally Ramachandran and R.P.N. Singh under Sushil Kumar Shinde and earlier under Chidambaram.


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