NATIONAL

Maintain sanctity of POTA: Venkaiah Naidu

CHENNAI OCT. 26. Appealing to all States to maintain the "sanctity" of the Prevention of Terrorism Act, the BJP president, M. Venkaiah Naidu, today warned against using it for political purposes.

"I want to reiterate that it is the duty of State Governments to maintain the sanctity of the legislation of POTA. It has to be used against terrorists and terrorist organisations only. It should not be used against political parties and other people, who may have a difference of opinion. This legislation is not intended to be used against any political party or any political activist," Mr. Naidu said today in an informal chat with reporters at the airport here.

Mr. Naidu, who was on his way to Nellore from New Delhi, said it should be the endeavour of all parties forgetting political differences, and all State Governments, to see that every step is taken to end terrorism.

"Threats are being issued. Incidents such as kidnaps and mine blasts hamper the growth of the country. That is why the BJP says that there is need for stringent laws, as we are facing an extraordinary situation on the cross-border terrorism front and certain organisations are having international links. They are working in tandem." The Centre and State Governments should cooperate with each other and then take necessary action.

`Bullet never succeeds'

Pointing out that there were different terrorist organisations operating in various parts of the country which believed in violence, Mr. Naidu said the recent attack on the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Chandrababu Naidu, was one such instance.

"They believe that power comes through the barrel of the gun. It never came, and even if it came for a moment anywhere in the world, it never succeeded even for a day. So these people should give up their wrong approach. If they have confidence, they must come and mobilise the people and create public opinion. We have seen that the ballot alone succeeds, bullet never does," he added.

Referring to the recent Indo-Pakistan 12-point peace initiative embarked on by the Prime Minister, Mr. Naidu hoped that the Pakistan would understand the reality, the public opinion of both the countries as well as the international public opinion and respond positively, Mr. Naidu said.

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