M A I N   N E W S

Tackling Terror
PM: Federal agency need of the hour

Bagdogra (West Bengal), May 17
Frowning on political parties indulging in blame game after the Jaipur serial blasts, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today asked them to jointly address the terror issue and back creation of a federal crime agency.

The Prime Minister said the terror incidents should not become an issue of politicking and parties like the Congress and the BJP should put their minds together to see how the problem could be addressed.

Addressing a press conference here at the end of his two-day visit to Bhutan, Manmohan Singh also responded to questions on the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal, inflation and other issues.

He hoped that “good sense” would prevail among the detractors of the nuclear deal and assured the nation that the strategic programme would remain protected.

With the government drawing flak over unbridled inflation, the PM said he expected moderation in prices in the next few weeks.

Singh said creation of a federal crime agency was the need of the hour as terrorism and several white-collar crimes had inter-state aspects. He, however, said this proposal could not be implemented as there was “reluctance” on part of states to “surrender their powers.” He was quick to add that he was not apportioning blame on states but the matter had to be looked into.

Asked about the letter written to him by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi seeking a conference with Chief Ministers to discuss the issue of terrorism, the PM said he had already had several such meetings on internal security, the recent one being on Naxalism.

“It is not a matter that should divide political parties. The Congress, BJP all have obligation on their part to tackle the issue. We have to put our heads together,” the Prime Minister said.

On the May 13 Jaipur blasts that left 64 people dead, he refused to blame the intelligence agencies, saying terrorists “can surprise us” and that is the “reality”. In the aftermath of Jaipur blasts, the BJP has accused the government of being soft on terrorism.

On suggestions that the Jaipur blasts were a consequence of intelligence failure, he said “terrorist attacks can surprise us. We have to realise that reality.” “I would not say that the intelligence apparatus has weakened,” the PM said. — PTI




‘Prices will moderate’

As inflation continued its upward spiral, Manmohan Singh said he was expecting a moderation in the prices over the next few weeks. “There is always a rise in prices between May and September. Even in the normal years prices do rise between May and September,” he said. “We have taken adequate measures. We have had excellent procurement of rice and wheat. We have taken effective steps. We are hopeful of moderation over the next few weeks,” he said.



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