NEW DELHI: After nearly a year-long gruelling campaign and historical verdict, Narendra Modi has little time to savour his election victory as a host of internal security challenges linger.
Amid hectic meeting for Cabinet formation, the Prime Minister-elect on Monday had held discussions with Home Secretary Anil Goswami and former Intelligence Bureau Chief A K Doval on security concerns that the new government will have to tackle in the coming months. Speculation is rife that Modi may keep the internal security division of the Home Ministry under Prime Minister’s Office to ensure his stamp on security-related programmes and Doval could be his National Security Adviser (NSA) to put the teams on the ground.
According to Home Ministry sources, Modi-led NDA-II may well start with overhauling of the country’s intelligence set up which was dragged into political controversy by the UPA and its officers were hounded by other arms of the government in Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case. Some bold moves by NDA-II are expected to bring the spies back in the game.
“As Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi had suggested that the UPA Government must strengthen the intelligence infrastructure to provide real-time actionable inputs rather than raising several layers of organisations. He had suggested the UPA Government to set up All-India Intelligence Service like other All-India services to overhaul the intelligence units and recruit the best cops to upgrade the quality. It could now become the reality,” sources said.
One of Modi’s pressing challenges will be neutralising home-grown terror groups and Left wing extremism.
After years of criticising the UPA Government for not being tough enough and failing to bring perpetrators of terror to justice, the NDA-II will have to tackle internal and external security together and not in isolation, said a senior official.
As Modi had earlier advocated for modernisation of police forces to tackle internal security problems, the officer said, local police is first line of defence and his government is likely to take up the modernisation plan with the state governments on priority.
Discussion with several security officials reveals the establishment is hoping a more muscular approach by Modi-led government as far as internal security issues are concerned.
His government faces an array of terrorism threats as recently some jailed SIMI cadres openly warned of terror attacks while being produced in a court in Madhya Pradesh.
Officials said the challenges of detecting and neutralising home-grown terror modules and their Jihadi handler’s needs to be a coordinated operation with state governments and new prime minister will have to ensure that states are well-equipped to handle it professionally.