Why was terrorism not included in NIC agenda, asks Modi (Lead)

October 13th, 2008 - 5:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Narendra ModiNew Delhi, Oct 13 (IANS) Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi Monday said the central government was indulging in “vote bank politics and nothing more” when it did not include terrorism in the agenda of the National Integration Council (NIC) meeting. “It is unfortunate that terrorism was not included on the agenda of the NIC meeting. This is vote bank politics and nothing more,” Modi told reporters after his presentation before the NIC.

He said terrorism had become a burning issue in the country, reflecting the lack of seriousness on part of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

“When I took up the matter with the government, they included left wing extremism on the NIC’s agenda but not terrorism. I just fail to understand how terrorism is not important but extremist violence makes the grade,” he said.

“India is one of the worst victims of terrorism and yet this government is not ready to discuss it. This is shocking and also displays the government’s casual approach.”

Addressing the gathering, which included all chief ministers, Modi said mass religious conversions must be checked to ensure peace and also pressed the central government to approve the state’s long pending anti-terror law.

“Mass religious conversions by coercion and allurement must be checked to ensure peace in the society.”

Modi, as also Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking why terrorism was not on the NIC’s agenda.

In his opening remarks, Manmohan Singh Monday hit out against sectarian and communal forces saying these were disturbing and dangerous and needed to be put down with a firm hand.

The prime minister also referred to the attack on Christians in Orissa and Karnataka and the communal clashes in Assam and Maharashtra last month, saying the situation was aggravated by external interests that wished to derail the essential unity of India.

The agenda for the NIC meeting, being held after a gap of three years, includes social structure - caste and identity divisions and rhetoric; economic development - equitable development and removal of regional imbalances; promotion of feeling of security among minorities and other vulnerable sections; education - promotion of education among minorities, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes; communal harmony; other elements contributing to national integration; and extremism.

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