Minister for Energy Shobha Karandlaje expressed her anguish over playing “vote-bank politics” on issues concerning national security. She said she is pained to see that politicians chose to ignore national security and appease sections of society rather than working with secular frame of mind.

Ms. Karandlaje was speaking on the last day of Darshan, a three-day personality development programme for graduate and postgraduate students on Wednesday. The programme was organised by the Ramakrishna Math on the occasion of 150 birth centenary celebrations of Swami Vivekananda.

Taking a critical view of politicians’ work, Ms. Karandlaje said the ruling party at the Centre was not in a position to take decision on the presence of infiltrators from Pakistan and Bangladesh in our cities as pointed out by the intelligence agencies. “We are forced to sit quiet fearing repercussions of the action and overlook the security threat. We are a lot concerned about finishing our term (without a hassle),” she said.

Ms. Karandlaje said lack of basic healthcare facilities, and caste oppression were among the reasons why people associated with Maoists and terrorist groups and revolted against the State. “But I am pained to say that we are too much involved in vote bank politics,” she said.

Ms. Karandlaje asked youngsters to come forward and raise their voice against injustice and deprivation. She also asked women to join hands in nation-building.

Swami Jitakamanandaji spoke on the relevance of the teachings of Swami Vivekananda in the contemporary world. Swami Anupamanandaji, Raghottama Rao from Manas Centre for Training and Academy, and professor from School of Social Work Rameela Shekar spoke.

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