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India has become a soft state: BJP

Attacking the government for not doing enough to effectively deal with the problem of terrorism and naxalism, the Opposition BJP today said India under the UPA has become a soft state.

Initiating the discussion on demands for grants of Home Ministry, BJP member Anurag Thakur demanded a White Paper on government's initiative to deal with naxalism, which has become a big threat to the nation.

'We have become a soft state because we have failed to hang Afzal Guru. This is the condition of our state,' he said, while referring to the failure of the government to execute capital punishment awarded to the Parliament terror attack convict.

The BJP member wanted to know from the government as to what it was going to do with Guru who was given death penalty by the apex court eight years ago.

On the issue of fighting naxalism, Thakur said it was ironic that the Opposition was with Home Minister P Chidambaram, but a section of UPA was against him.

Thakur said a Congress general secretary had written an article saying '[the] Home Ministry is suffering from intellectual arrogance'.

According to the BJP member, 'if the government is divided, UPA is divided... how can you face Maoism and naxalism?'

Recalling the statement of the Home Minister that the government would take a decision on Telangana, Thakur said the Centre should disclose its strategy to deal with the issue which had taken 700 lives in the last three years.

On effectiveness of National Investigation Agency (NIA), the BJP member wanted to know whether the agency has been able to questions David Headley and Tahawwur Hussain Rana, accused in the Mumbai terrorist attacks currently being investigated by the US agencies.

As far as National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) is concerned, he said the Centre should consulted the states before coming out with the proposal.

He also expressed the apprehension that NCTC, like Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), could be misused to achieve political objectives.

Referring to problems in Jammu and Kashmir, Thakur demanded that the report of the interlocutors should be made public.

His comments on failure of the state government to allow BJP members to hoist national flag at Lal Chowk evoked sharp reaction from National Conference members.

Thakur also demanded that the government should come out with a White Paper on naxalism and Maoism which has become the biggest challenge for nation.

Suvendu Adhikari (TMC), J K Ritheesh Shivkumar (DMK) and Khagen Das (CPI-M) demanded that the NCTC should not be implemented in the present form and favoured a wider debate among Chief Ministers.

Sandeep Dikshit (Congress) said situation has improved significantly in Jammu and Kashmir and northeast over the years.

Congress party was fully behind Chidambaram, he said, adding the Home Ministry has done praiseworthy work under his leadership.

Others who participated in the debate are Neeraj Shekhar (SP), Bali Ram (BSP) and Vishwa Mohan Kumar (JD-U).
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