Sunday, November 05, 2006

Red fight funds spent on cars

Red fight funds spent on cars

Ranchi, Nov. 3: Exploding a bombshell today, junior Union home minister Shriprakash Jaiswal accused the Arjun Munda-led previous state government of misusing funds allotted to Jharkhand for fighting the Naxalite menace.

Criticising the government for misusing funds, Jaiswal said: “The Munda government used the funds meant for fighting the Naxalites to buy swanky vehicles for the ministers and senior bureaucrats. It had nothing to do with the police modernisation programme. A huge amount earmarked for the purpose also remained unspent over the years.”

Jaiswal, however, remained tight-lipped when asked if the Centre would take any action against the previous Jharkhand government for misusing the funds.

“There is no point taking action now. This was done by the BJP-led government. It is already out of power. In democracy, masses are the supreme authority. Now that a new government has been formed here, we expect better results,” he said.

Jaiswal said there was a significant decline in the subversive acts of the rebels after the change of guard in the state and also praised the prompt police action.

Blaming poverty for the rebel menace, Jaiswal said the state government should focus on land reforms and ensure strict implementation of the Centre-sponsored poverty eradication schemes like Pradhan Manthri Gram Sadak Yojana and Rojagar Guarantee Yojana.

“The government should post competent officials to tackle the rebel menace. Posting in the Naxal areas should not be considered as a punishment,” he said.

Talking to The Telegraph this morning, Jaiswal, who was in Hazaribagh to campaign for the UPA candidate in the Koderma parliamentary seat, said the Centre would provide choppers for air surveillance in the states like Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh as part of the police modernisation programme.

“Our government believes in police modernisation through advanced training, sophisticated weapons and competent officials. We have given the rebel-ravaged states choppers on several occasions in the past to carry out air surveillance. But aerial attacks will be our last option. My government is competent enough to flush out rebels without stringent laws like Pota. We have already set an example by restoring normal situation in Mizoram without Pota or the likes,” he said.

The minister made a brief halt in Ranchi while returning to Delhi after campaigning for the Koderma bypoll. He claimed that UPA nominee Manoj Yadav was all set to win the elections.

Jaiswal said people would vote for Yadav because they know UPA is in favour of progress.

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