The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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BJP urges agenda rethink

Chennai, Nov. 5: BJP president Venkaiah Naidu today urged the Mufti Mohammed Sayeed government to rethink its common minimum programme as it would send a wrong signal and encourage militancy in the state.

He said the state coalition’s decision not to use or invoke the Prevention of Terrorism Act against militants and to disband the Special Operations Group (SOG) constituted to tackle militancy and cross-border terrorism did not serve national interests.

Emphasising the need for Centre-state cooperation in curbing militancy, Naidu urged the Congress — the senior partner in the coalition — to prevail upon the People’s Democratic Party to ensure that no move was made to weaken action against terrorism.

The PDP should realise that a proxy war is on in the state, and even on the day the new government was sworn-in, there were incidents of violence and people were killed, he said. The BJP chief said over 400 cases had been filed under the anti-terror law in Jammu and Kashmir alone. Some of them involved Pakistani nationals, believed to be involved in a number of killings.

Given that terrorists had even targeted the new chief minister’s residence, Naidu said the government should drop its plans to release hardcore militants from jail.

from prison, take tough action and allow the law to take its own course to ensure the safety of the people.

“Most of the militants are Pakistan-sponsored and any softening towards them would only hurt national interest, demoralise the army and put people at risk,” Naidu said. The SOG had proved effective in tackling militancy, he reasoned, issuing a warning that the Centre would not initiate any talks unless the militants first put down their arms.

On the political situation in Uttar Pradesh, Naidu insisted that there was no threat to the Mayavati government. Except for four or five MLAs’, nobody had withdrawn support to it, he said, adding that there was no question of the BJP rethinking its ties with the BSP as the coalition experiment in Uttar Pradesh was a well-considered move and the party would like to continue with it.

Asserting that there was no need to convene a special session of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, Naidu said if the Samajwadi Party had the numbers it claims, then it should prove it on the floor of the House in the next session. The BJP has suspended three MLAs and held talks with the other dissidents, who were made to realise that it was not in the party’s interests to go public on their grievances, the BJP chief added.

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