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Country can't afford to lose against Maoists: Jaitley

New Delhi, Thu, 15 Apr 2010 ANI

New Delhi, Apr 15 (ANI): Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley on Thursday said India cannot afford to lose the battle against Maoists.


Initiating debate on Dantewada incident, Jaitley criticized the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government for not taking the threat seriously in its previous tenure.


"This battle the country cannot lose, this battle needs to go n." Jaitley said


"We did not ask the Home Minister to resign because we did not want to see a smile on the face of the Maoists," he added.


However, Jaitley attacked the Congress over its internal differences which have exploded publicly in the last 48 hours.


Jaitley made comments in reference to a newspaper article written by Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Wednesday, in which Singh slamed Chidambaram both professionally and for his "aggressive" approach to the Naxal issue.


"Opposition wants to stand with the Government but...we don't need a government who tries to pull down its own Home minister; what we don't need is a divided government," he said


"The Home Minister is under gherao from his own party," Chidambaram added.


Jaitley also slammed Union Minister Mamata Banerjee's comments that--, "There is not a single Maoist in Lalgarh or West Bengal. We were always against the operations in West Bengal."


"What we don't need is half-a-Maoist in the treasury benches who will try and pull down the government by saying the fight against Maoists must be diluted. That's what seems to be going on, Jaitley said.


Expressing concern over increasing Maoist threat, Jaitley said the entire opposition would support Union Government in its campaign to end Maoists menace.


"The country wants to speak in one language... but we do not need a divided government," he said.


In his address to the House, Jaitley asked the Government to adopt strong security measures to tackle red ultra's military activities.


Earlier, in an interview to a newspaper, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh had described the Maoists infested areas as the "toughest areas," and said fight against Naxalism is long drawn one.


"Every one knows that the fight against the Maoists will be long- drawn. All efforts are on to boost the infrastructure in the Naxalite areas," Singh said.


"Still, I am confident that the State Government will be able to assert its authority in areas where Maoists have influence, he added. (ANI)


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