Govt needs a 'market wizard': Shivraj Patil

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New Delhi, Jul 18: Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil has candidly admitted that the UPA government badly needed a 'market wizard' to make 'UPA shine better'. Asserting that the Congress-led UPA government had performed 'better' than its predecessor BJP-led NDA regime, Mr Patil, who is at the receiving end of the BJP brickbats, told "India News TV channel" today that the government had not showcased its achievements.

"Our government has done so much better when compared to NDA (regime). But we have not trumpeted. Any how our performance card is there for you to see", he said when asked whether the government should have a 'marketing minister' as well to make 'UPA shine better' Taking repeated digs at the BJP, Mr Patil challenged the main opposition to an 'open debate' on law and order salutation in the country, which, he said, was 'far better' than it was four years ago.

The situation in BJP and BJD-ruled states was 'bad', he said replying to a question on terrorism and Naxalite menace. "North Block is advising them to achieve a turnaround within the 'boundaries' of constitutional propriety. It has not gone public with these advisories because it doesn't want to 'demoralise' the administration and police force in those states." The Home Minister frankly stated that there was 'no short cut' to tackle these twin evils. A multi-pronged approach is essential, he said, and outlined a 10-point plan, which he said the UPA government was working out.

Elaborating, he said the police were trained primarily to handle crowds. They (police) need 'new and different' training to meet the demands of the day. Also the police force must be increased substantially. Present strength is 'woefully inadequate' to face the threats.

Better mobility with vehicles, helicopters, and aeroplanes, effective tools ( weapons) good housing for police personnel, more central aid, and improved policing coupled with socio-economic development programmes in the affected areas, in Mr Patil's view offer a 'nirvana' from the menace.

He said the states also should do their bit simultaneously 'since law and order is their problem'.


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