The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Naxalite-wary BJP minds its language

Ranchi, Nov. 25: Political correctness and expediency has prompted the BJP to amend its language on Naxalite violence.

The draft resolution on internal security, a copy of which was first circulated to the media, spoke of instituting a 'joint command and task force for crushing the Naxalite terrorists'. This was quickly changed to 'adequately dealing with Naxalite terrorists'.

BJP spokesperson Arun Jaitley insisted there was no difference in meaning and maintained that 'the amended phrase covers everything, including the word originally used (crushing)'.

However, the fact that the resolution was adopted in a state where the influence of the extreme Left is too big to be ignored was evidently factored in when it was drafted.

The resolution tangentially acknowledged this in a statement that was inserted as an afterthought. 'During the last Lok Sabha polls, a nexus between the Congress and its allies and some extremists was visible in some states,' it said. Jaitley mentioned Jharkhand as one such state along with Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

Jharkhand BJP sources said the far-Left groups 'controlled' 18 of the state's 22 districts where the administration's writ had 'ceased to exist'. 'The chief minister's diktat only prevails in the urban areas and in the daytime at that,' they said.

These sources alleged that the Congress-Jharkhand Mukti Morcha-Rashtriya Janata Dal-Left alliance would not have swept the Lok Sabha polls but for a 'tacit' understanding with the Naxalites who 'allowed' people to cast their votes.

Hazaribagh, the borough of former external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha, would not have gone to the CPI had its 'Naxalite allies' not cooperated, the sources said.

They, however, did not comment when asked whether this implied that Sinha had been winning from Hazaribagh mainly because of the Naxalites.

The opening paragraph of the three-page resolution recognised the rise of 'red' forces. 'The emergence of a kind of a Maoist red corridor from the Nepal border to Andhra Pradesh, covering several states, has added a challenging dimension to our security.'

The BJP condemned the government's decision to lift the ban on the People's War in Andhra and allow its activists to move around with arms. 'The recent killing of 17 policemen in Uttar Pradesh by the Maoists is a reminder, if still needed, of how serious the situation has become,' it said.

The resolution expressed the BJP's 'serious concern' at the 'criminally casual manner' in which the UPA government handled internal security.

Apart from Red-inspired 'terror', the other problems the BJP mentioned were insurgency in the Northeast with Bangladesh's alleged support and 'increasing' ISI activity.

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