November 25, 2008 12:38:23 am
In the run-up to the celebration of the Bihar Government’s three years in office, Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi told The Indian Express in an interview that the state hadn’t seen a major incident of Naxal violence in their tenure despite 19 of the state’s 38 districts falling in the high-risk zone.
In a significant statement, he hinted that this could be because “their government holds that Naxals are not criminals and, hence, must not be treated like ones… Naxalism has political content”. “Now, Naxals are not seen in fetters in jails,” Modi added.
Pointing out that Naxalism wasn’t a Bihar-centric problem, the Deputy Chief Minister said their government has been “sympathetic” while dealing with Maoists. “We are occupying political space by making roads, schools, community centres in so-called Naxal-hit areas… We do not deny Maoists are taking levy for development works, but we are still taking development to those areas.”
Modi also credited the JD(U)-BJP Government led by Nitish Kumar with instilling a “sense of security” among public, especially by keeping kidnapping for ransom under check.
On the completion of three years in office, Nitish released a 40-page ‘Report Card-2008: Three Years of Development with Justice’ in Patna, claiming to have “made bridges and bridged social, economic and systemic gaps”.
“Besides making 115 bridges, we filled socio-economic and systemic gaps. Nobody talks of caste and religion in Bihar now. This alone is a good enough reason for the NDA to pat its back for,” he said.
Both Nitish and Modi took the opportunity to attack RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav, with Modi saying that while
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wants to help Bihar personally, he is very often blackmailed by the Union Railway Minister.
The BJP leader also expressed confidence that the tie-up with JD(U) would last as they were one on the development agenda and there was no contradiction on it. He said they will seek votes on the same agenda in the coming elections.
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