November 2002 News

Govt won''t interfere into ultras release

15 November 2002
The Pioneer
Kamal Kant Gouri

Ranchi: Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani made clear on Friday that the Centre will not interfere even if the Jammu and Kashmir Government continues releasing terrorists and separatist leaders in the State. He added that a State Government has certain rights under the Constitution and is free to take such decisions. However, he placed the onus on the Congress to judge whether such a policy was appropriate at a time when the country was fighting terrorism on all fronts. Mr Advani was addressing a press conference here on the occasion of Jharkhand Establishment Day organised to mark the second anniversary of the State. Later, Mr Advani also addressed a public meeting. However, he added, the people of the country would not only keenly watch the State Government led by the People''s Democratic Party, they would also judge a national party like the Congress which was supporting the PDP Government. People would ask the Congress how it was handling the terrorism problem in the State, the Deputy Prime Minister added. Mr Advani said the central Government expects the State Government to tackle two major problems: Cross-border terrorism and under- development. When Mr Mufti Mohammad Sayeed met the Prime Minister before taking over as Chief Minister he had agreed on addressing these two problems on a priority basis, Mr Advani added. When asked if the results of the Gujarat Assembly elections would have any bearing on the central Government, the Deputy Prime Minister said that although state elections are important, they will not impact the central government. Mr Advani expected that after successful elections in J&K, the Centre expects the militant groups of Nagaland to hold talks with the Indian Government within the country The Assembly elections in the State, due for early next year, would be held free and fairly like in Jammu & Kashmir, Mr Advani announced. Later, addressing a public rally, Mr Advani said Pakistan would lose its proxy war against India the way it has lost in other wars. Meanwhile, beleaguered Jharkhand Chief Minister Babulal Marandi got a shot in the arm after the Deputy Prime Minister praised his ''efforts for the development of the new State.'' The praise is a big boost for Mr Marandi, who has been under attack from different quarters , and after rumours that his days as the Chief Minister of Jharkhand are numbered.


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