The politics over unearthing of a Maoist plot to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi reflects a dangerously cavalier attitude and holds mirror to the decadent political culture prevailing in the country. The security of an elected Prime Minister must be a matter of concern for all and any intelligence input pointing to the existence of such a threat, however vague and outlandish its source may be, must be taken seriously and probed thoroughly. Given the blood-soaked history of the Maoist movement that had claimed the lives of several high-profile personalities, it would be naïve to dismiss such threats. It is too serious a matter to mock at or play politics on partisan lines. It is unfortunate that there has been an attempt to politicise the issue, on either side of the political divide, ever since Pune police told a court that they had seized a letter by suspected Maoists, discussing the possibility of a ‘Rajiv Gandhi-like assassination’ targeting Modi during his road shows. Surely, any gaping holes in the police claim should be probed till the authenticity is established but a cavalier dismissal of such a threat would do greater harm to the security establishment and put the potential targets at grave risk. The police claimed to have intercepted an internal communication of Maoists and recovered a letter from one of the five people arrested from Mumbai, Nagpur and Delhi in connection with ‘Elgar Parishad’ held in Pune in December and the subsequent Bhima-Koregaon violence. Besides the assassination plan, the letter also mentions about efforts to procure M-4 rifles and ammunition.
The Maoists, wedded to the ideology of capturing power through the barrel of gun, have a history of targeting high-profile political leaders, be it the abortive attempt on the life of Chandrababu Naidu when he was Chief Minister of combined Andhra Pradesh, the killing of AP Speaker D Sripada Rao, Minister A Madhava Reddy and the elimination of the entire Congress State top brass in Chhattisgarh. Though significantly weakened in the recent years, the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) of the CPI (Maoist) is still capable of carrying out sensational attacks as the 2010 Dantewada mayhem, in which 76 CRPF personnel were killed, has proved. While it is considered next to impossible to penetrate Prime Minister’s security unless there is a human error, there should be no room for complacency. There must be a bipartisan support to the investigators who toil against odds all the time to foil terror attacks. One would have expected a more matured and dignified reaction from the Congress, a party which had lost two Prime Ministers to the assassins. Instead, its leaders sought to mock at the police revelations to score political brownie points.