Putting aside their political differences,the Congress and the BJP together condemned the Maoist attack on Congress convoy in Chhattisgarh at the all-party meet on anti-Naxal strategy on Monday.
Urging Centre and states to work in tandem,Congress president Sonia Gandhi said,The Indian state cannot and will not accept Maoist doctrine. The Maoists must give up the path of violence. On this,there can be no compromise. It was reliably learnt that BJP leader Sushma Swaraj endorsed Gandhis view and said,I agree 100 per cent.
PM Manmohan Singh called for further fine-tuning and strengthening of the strategy against Naxals. We have already started work in this direction. I would not like to take your time to give details of the steps that we are taking or planning to take,but would only reaffirm that our government will not be found wanting in this regard. The strength and robustness of the democratic forces in our country would suffer if the space for political activity gets restricted because of fear or terror, Singh said.
Without mincing her words,Gandhi said,The Maoist claim to speak and fight for the tribal people,but this is a hollow claim. There is,sadly,still considerable deprivation amongst these communities. The answer to poverty and backwardness is development,social inclusion and economic empowerment. These can be achieved through democratic means and good governance.
Asking states to take a lead role,she said,The primary responsibility to provide good governance and implement development programmes also lies with the state governments. The Central government is duty bound to supplement the resources of the states and pay special attention to the Scheduled areas. All political parties are obliged to make appropriate laws and ensure that they are implemented. Just as we came together to pass the historic Forest Rights Act in 2006,we must now enact new legislation for land acquisition and for sharing the benefits of mining with local communities.
NCP leader Sharad Yadav and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee did not attend the meet.
It was an attack on democracy,freedom,and free speech and expression. Nothing can be more dangerous to our Republic than the insurgency of the CPI(Maoist) in pursuit of its misguided goal of overthrowing Parliamentary democracy and the Constitution of India through violent means. The Indian State cannot,and will not,accept the pernicious Maoist doctrine, the resolution said.