At the internal security meeting, which got hijacked by the Centre-state wrangles over the NCTC, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh kept his focus on the recent Maoist attack on Congress leaders by calling for a coordinated, united fight against the Left extremist forces by all political parties.
“The meeting today was called in the aftermath of the brutal attack on the Congress workers in Chhattisgarh. Such violence has no place in our democracy,” the Prime Minister said, not mentioning the NCTC issue even once in his speech.
Inaugurating the meeting here on Wednesday, the Prime Minister said: “The major violent attacks by Naxalites, like the recent one in Chhattisgarh, are setbacks that have happened periodically. The Centre and the states need to work together to eliminate such large-scale attacks.”
Despite his attempt to keep the focus on Left extremism, the NCTC issue overshadowed the Prime Minister’s words and concerns, and the debate in the meeting remained anchored on the anti-terror body and how its provisions could erode the federal structure of the nation. Highlighting the government’s two-pronged strategy to tackle the Maoist problem, the Prime Minister said that “proactive and sustained operations against the Maoist extremists” have to be combined with “development and governance” measures.
Almost negating the PM’s line, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi told reporters outside the meeting venue that he too has a two-pronged strategy for tackling Maoist designs -- “first comb the existing Naxal-affected areas to free them of Left extremism and second, take pre-emptive strikes on their next plan of action of spreading violence to the urban areas from Pune to Ahemdabad.”
According to Modi, only such a strategy can bring the curtains down on the Maoist problem and crush their plan of “creating a red corridor from Pasupati to Tirupati”.
The Prime Minister’s appeal that “all political parties and all sections of the society have to work together to find effective ways and means of meeting the grave challenges” of Maoist violence, clearly did not find a resonance with the BJP Chief Ministers, Modi and Chhattisgarh’s Raman Singh. Both spoke more on the NCTC than on Left extremism.