Internal Security under UPA Government
Leader of Opposition, Shri L.K.Advani
The entire nation is shell-shocked at the serial blasts in Assam and Nagaland on two successive days, that is October 2 (which was Gandhi Jayanti) and October 3, 2004, which have so far claimed nearly 70 innocent lives. What is no less shocking is the casual and callous manner in which the Congress-led UPA government has dealt with the issue of internal security ever since it took the reins of office in May 2004.
The guilt of the UPA government is not only on account of negligence. It is of a far higher order. The Congress party carries the stigma of having aided and abetted the terrorist and extremist outfits that are now having a field day in different parts of the country.
This is most clearly evident in the recent parliamentary elections in Assam, where the Congress party had openly accepted support of the ULFA, a banned secessionist organisa-tion whose leaders are safely ensconced in Bangladesh. The Congress government in Assam gave protection to ULFA, and ULFA in turn gave patronage to Congress candidates. No wonder, the extremist organisation has now felt emboldened to carry out its murderous activities with impunity.
I am sorry to say that, by lifting the ban on PWG, the Congress leaders have endangered peace and security not only in Andhra Pradesh but also in several other states.
Yet another example is the highly shortsighted manner in which the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh has dealt with the People'sWar Group, the country'smain Naxal organisation which has spread its activities to many states. During its nearly decade-long rule, the government of Shri Chandrababu Naidu had tackled this banned organisation with exemplary grit. Indeed, Shri Naidu had a miraculous escape when the PWG, which had made political assassination a key element of its strategy and had specially targeted TDP and BJP leaders, conspired to kill him in Tirupati last year.
Throughout the period of the TDP rule, the Congress party had displayed a soft corner for the PWG in order to get the latter'scrucial support to its candidates in the Assembly elections. Inde-ed, one of the first acts of the newly elected Congress gove-rnment in Andhra Pradesh was to lift the ban on PWG. This was done in utter disregard of the views of the other states battling with Naxal violence. The UPA gove-rnment abd-icated its responsibility of counselling the Congress government in Hyderabad against this ill-advised and expedient move.
During the six years of the NDA government, we had consistently tried to evolve a common and coordinated strategy between the Central government and the Naxal-affected state governments for dealing with the menace of Left-wing extremism. I am sorry to say that, by lifting the ban on PWG, the Congress leaders have endangered peace and security not only in Andhra Pradesh but also in other several other states. It is worth recalling here that the Andhra Pradesh government'sdecision has been flayed even by the West Bengal Chief Minister, Shri Buddhadeb Bhattacharya and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Dr J. Jayalalithaa.
The BJP views with great concern the sharp increase in the number of infiltrators from across the border in Jammu & Kashmir. Terrorist killings, targeting both innocent civilians and moderate political personalities, are continuing unabated. In this context, the BJP takes strong exception to the absence of an explicit reference to cross-border terrorism in the joint press statement issued after the recent meeting between Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf.
It is becoming increasingly obvious that the dangers to the country'sinternal security are mounting principally because the Congress is looking at every problem and every new situation from the viewpoint of vote-bank politics. The most glaring proof of this is the alacrity with which it repealed POTA. Another example is how it has turned a blind eye to the problem of large-scale infiltration from Bangladesh. The Union Minister of State for Home had to almost disown his own statement in Parliament recently after having affirmed that there are nearly 1.2 crore illegal migrants from Bangladesh living in different parts of the country.
The UPA government abdicated its responsibility of counselling the Congress government in Hyderabad against this ill-advised and expedient move.
In view of the sudden spurt in terrorist violence in Assam and Nagaland, the BJP makes the following demands of the UPA government:
- Those involved in the recent acts of terrorism must be nabbed immediately and brought to book.
- Government of India must vigorously pursue with the Government of Bangladesh the need for the latter to hand over leaders of ULFA and other extremist organisa-tions, who are taking shelter on its soil, to India.
- There should be a well-coordinated crackdown on ULFA and other extremist organisations within Assam and other north-eastern states.
- The Centre should prevail upon the Andra Pradesh government to reverse its decision to lift the ban on PWG. Instead, the Centre and all Naxal-affected states should follow a common and coordinated strategy against Left-wing extremism.
- There should be no let-up in vigilance against cross-border infiltration and terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir.