Chandrababu Naidu has been target of the Naxalites for his hard-line approach to security and development policies
Andhra Pradesh (AP) Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has always been friendly with journalists, and scribes could get details of his itineraries via social media platforms. However, Firstpost has reported that these practices were stopped around New Year’s Eve after the Union Home Ministry warned of a threat to the CM’s life.
Intelligence agencies reportedly found that Naxalites based in Delhi had conducted recce missions of Andhra Bhavan six times in the past two months, with some of them posing as journalists. The AP police said it would be coordinating with the Delhi Police whenever Naidu visits Delhi.
The increased threat perception follows a major operation against the CPI (Maoists) on the Andhra-Odisha border in late October. The operation, which involved the police forces of both states, resulted in the deaths of around 30 extremists, including 15 senior regional leaders. According to the Hindu, one member of the Maoists’ Central Committee was injured in the operation, but managed to escape. In anticipation of retaliation, the police had stepped up security for ministers and bureaucrats.
In October and November, the extremists had issued open letters condemning Naidu’s alliance with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing the duo of acting in favour of capitalists. Recent Maoist threats have also named Naidu’s son and successor, Lokesh, and state Congress leaders.
Soon after he assumed power, Naidu was declared an “enemy of the people” in 1996 by the Maoists for reimposing a ban on some Maoist outfits. Naidu escaped an assassination attempt with minor injuries when a landmine planted by Maoists exploded near his convoy near Tirupathi in October 2003, when he was in his second stint as CM.