Rajnath's new anti-Maoist policy is stuck in red tape 

Soon after taking charge as the home minister, Rajnath Singh asked his officers to draw up a policy to combat Maoists, but the much-talked-about new policy is caught in red tape as it awaits Cabinet approval. 

The new policy, which was a top agenda for the home minister, has not been fully rolled out as it needs a Cabinet sanction because many of its features involve interministerial consultations. 

The policy was prepared to focus on not just anti-Maoist operations but also development in the backward areas hit by the Maoist insurgency. 

The policy focuses on not just anti-Maoist operations, but also development issues

The policy focuses on not just anti-Maoist operations, but also development issues

Sources said the policy cannot be implemented effectively till it gets a go ahead from the Cabinet. Apart from the home ministry, the new policy needs active participation from the ministries of Finance, Tribal Affairs, Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Road Transport and Highways and Environment and Forests. 

While infrastructure-related schemes are not under the home ministry’s control, Home Minister Rajnath Singh has been following up on developmental projects related to roads, bridges, railway lines, mobile towers, post offices, banking infrastructure, education, health, radio and TV connectivity, and forest and environmental clearances in Maoist-hit states. 

The home ministry is closely following up on road construction projects in Maoist states to ensure that there are no delays. 

The draft policy also focused on development-related issues, the rights and entitlement of the tribal population, and a campaign to address perception-related issues. 

“Since several ministries are involved a cabinet approval is necessary. It should have been done without any delay but bureaucratic delays have created a logjam,” a home ministry official said. 

Moreover, the new policy with emphasis on development in the conflict hit states could face some obstructions without even being implemented as the development schemes are now a domain of the state governments.