New Delhi: The government fears possible terrorist attacks during the coming general election campaign, Union home minister P. Chidambaram said.
The country remains nervous after Islamist terrorists killed 166 people in a strike on Mumbai last November. The figure has been revised down from that given earlier by officials.
“In the run up to the elections, there will be great temptation to attempt something dramatic. So we have to be very, very vigilant,” Chidambaram told the Headlines Today news channel on Wednesday night.
More than two million security personnel will be deployed in the world’s largest democratic exercise in April and May, for which 714 million people are eligible to vote.
Security will likely be a major campaign issue as main parties peddle a strong anti-terror line.
The Congress-led government introduced a slew of anti-terror measures after the Mumbai strike, but its main opposition, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has repeatedly accused its rival of being soft on terror.
New Delhi says Islamabad has done little to clamp down on terrorist activity on its soil, and has put a pause on a slow-moving peace process between the countries.
An militant attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore this week is further evidence that Pakistan cannot keep its house in order, Chidambaram said.