Centre to blame, says Advani

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BJP leader L.K. Advani speaking at Pamidi in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh during the Bharat Suraksha Yatra on Saturday.
BJP leader L.K. Advani speaking at Pamidi in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh during the Bharat Suraksha Yatra on Saturday.

Staff Reporter

Supports dam construction

Manmohan's call for unified command to fight naxals advocated by NDA UPA Government's soft tactics with Maoists only strengthened them

ANANTAPUR (Andhra Pradesh): Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani on Saturday faulted the Centre's approach to naxalism, terrorism and infiltration from Bangladesh.

Unabated violence now forced the United Progressive Alliance Government to toe the strategy evolved by the previous National Democratic Alliance regime, he told a press conference during his Bharat Suraksha Yatra here.

The call given by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for a unified command to fight naxals was advocated by the NDA Government.

Mr. Advani said he was astonished at the UPA Government's realisation, after two years in power, of the naxal threat, which required an approach based on greater inter-State and Centre-State coordination.

The approach that each affected State was free to adopt its own strategy boomeranged. Soft options such as lifting the ban on the People's War Group and holding talks with its representatives without insisting on surrender of arms resulted in the outfit furtherstrengthening itself.This experiment also helped it in its merger with the Maoist Communist Centre to form the Communist Party of India (Maoist).

Criticising Dr. Singh for his failure to explicitly mention the link between the Maoist insurgents in Nepal with naxalites in India, Mr. Advani said he suspected that the UPA Government had a sort corner for the Nepal Maoists. "The UPA's support to insurgency in the Himalayan kingdom is a dangerous policy, harmful both to our neighbour and ourselves."

"Image dented"

The BJP leader said Friday'sblasts in Kashmir and Delhi once again dented the country's image.

He alleged that the Centre lacked sincerity in acting tough with terrorists, and cited the adoption of a unanimous resolution by the Kerala Assembly seeking the release of Abdul Nazir Maudhani, a key accused in the 1998 Coimbatore blasts, in which 58 persons were killed.

On separate statehood for Telangana, Mr. Advani said only a consensus could carve out a new State. He had nothing to say about the efforts by Telugu Desam leader N. Chandrababu Naidu to cobble together a third front.

Staff Correspondent reports from Torangal (Karnataka): Earlier, before leaving for Andhra Pradesh, Mr. Advani said Friday's blasts "belied the affirmation by the UPA Government that terrorism has been contained."

Mr. Advani, who flew from Mumbai to resume his yatra from Guntakal in Andhra Pradesh, was speaking to presspersons during his transit at the Jindal airport.

The Prevention of Terrorism Act enacted by the NDA Government was a deterrent to financing terrorist organisations. "Is not scrapping POTA a compromise with terrorism?"

Sardar Sarovar project

Asked about his party's stand on the controversial Sardar Sarovar project, he sought to know why construction of the dam should be stopped.

"I have spoken to the Chief Ministers of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh and the Governments have spared no effort to rehabilitate the displaced. Even the Supreme Court has permitted the raising of the height of the dam.

Moreover, all parties in Gujarat are equally emphatic that the construction should continue."

Referring to the violent incidents during the funeral of the Kannada matinee idol, Dr. Rajkumar, on Thursday, Mr. Advani said an analysis was needed to find out "how a very solemn occasion culminated in violence and vandalism."

He said: "I read the Chief Minister's statement that he knows several things about it [the violence]. I have nothing more to say."



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