03 August, 2021

Inviting Trouble?

Naidu's decision to ban the PWG may only help it regroup again

Inviting Trouble?

THE July 23 decision of the Andhra Pradesh Government to ban the Peoples' War Group (PWG) and its six frontal organisations came as no surprise. Neither did the response of the banned outfit. In true Naxal spirit, it called a bandh in its north Telangana stronghold, blasted a ruling Telugu Desam Party MLA's house, and PWG cadres, who prefer staying underground, with or without a ban, started regrouping. Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu accused the PWG of not being able to "shun violence". The PWG's rejoinder was equally cavalier: according to them, Naidu is wary of the group's opposition to his 'anti-poor' programmes.

Naidu will find it easy to justify the reim position of the ban. Official figures reveal that the PWG activists have been involved in 66 killings this year. However, his action against the PWG was not dictated solely by considerations of containing violence. A financial crunch has left the Andhra Pradesh government with no option but to either scrap or tone down the populist schemes floated by former chief minister and Naidu's father-in-law, N.T. Rama...

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