As Maoists carried out their second major strike in as many months in Chhattisgarh on Monday, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said there was need to revisit the anti-Naxal strategy in the light of the fact that four States want use of air power against the ultra-Left extremists.

Replying to questions on the need for air support and the Cabinet Committee on Security's refusal to endorse the use of the same, he said: “I can implement the mandate that is given to me. But I believe that the collective wisdom is better than an individual statement.”

Specifically asked whether he wanted air support for the anti-naxal operations, the Minister told NDTV that the security forces and the Chief Ministers of West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Orissa all asked for it. Mr. Chidambaram said he “tried” to convince the Centre on the issue.

Asked if he was unhappy with the limited mandate, he said: “I took to the Cabinet Committee [the] case for a larger mandate; I was given a limited mandate. I will go back to the Cabinet Committee, I have already spoken to the Prime Minister... ”

“We will go back to the Cabinet Committee to revisit that mandate in light of the revised strategy that the CPI-Maoist is following, of which we have enough evidence and intelligence.”

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