Dissatisfied with the government’s handling of attacks on Indians in Australia, the Bharatiya Janata Party has sought an appointment with External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna.
Party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said here on Friday that parliamentary party leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley would meet Mr. Krishna to voice the party’s anguish.
“They will see the Minister as soon as they are given the time. The party would like to see the government demonstrate firmness,” Mr. Prasad said.
While the BJP was not very clear as to what it expected the government to do, the view was that India cannot simply sit back and lodge formal protests with the ambassador here each time an Indian was attacked. And these attacks have been taking place repeatedly and frequently. Since many students have spent large sums on admissions to various educational institutions in Australia, they do not have an easy option of leaving their studies mid-way, the party said.
Separately, a senior BJP leader clarified that the party’s policy on naxals and naxalism has not changed. It believes that naxals are terrorists.
This explanation follows a statement attributed by media reports to Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren that naxals were brothers and sisters who are alienated and effort must be made to talk to them. The BJP, which is a coalition partner of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha in the State, was embarrassed by the remarks as in the past it has charged some Congress Chief Ministers of having links with extremist organisations.