ANDHRA PRADESH

Cong. demands probe by SC Judge

HYDERABAD Oct. 10. The Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee on Friday demanded that the Government order an inquiry by a sitting Supreme Court judge into the attack on the Chief Minister, N Chandrababu Naidu, as there were several apprehensions among people on the issue.

Speaking to reporters here, the PCC president, D. Srinivas, said the attempt on the Chief Minister's life was not a single day's affair and lot of planning must have gone into it. Though the People's War claimed responsibility for the attack, they could not have succeeded in their effort if there was no cooperation from others. "Naxalites cannot carry huge quantities of explosive material to the blast site on the busy road which is not far from Alipiri. The People's War could not have carried out such a big operation without the cooperation from people, be it politicians, bureaucrats or anyone opposed to Mr. Naidu. The fact should come out," he said.

Though the Government constituted special investigation teams to probe into the matter, the inquiry would be confined to certain areas thus reducing the scope of bringing out the facts. Hence, the Government should at least now wake up an order a probe by the Supreme Court judge. The incident was nothing but a total failure of the Government and efforts should be made to ensure that such incidents do not recur.''

Taking exception to the Mr. Naidu's comments on the "double standard" of the Opposition, he said in fact, the Government was adopting double standards on the naxalite issue. The Government should realise that repression was certainly not the means to curb naxalism as it not a law and order problem, but a sensitive one of socio-economic nature. It should conduct a study to ascertain as to why people, youth in particular, were getting attracted to the movement.

The Government and the People's War should resume negotiations by responding positively and an all-party meeting could be convened on the issue to elicit the suggestions from the Opposition.

There were also speculations about the ruling party going in for an early poll to cash in on "the sympathy factor.'' Though a decision on the elections had to be taken by the Election Commission, the Congress was prepared to face them whenever they were held, he added.