BJP, Left condemn Maoist attack, appeal for joint fight

New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) Terming the ambush of Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh as "one of the most audacious" attacks, the BJP and CPI-M Sunday called upon everyone, especially political parties, to "come together" to combat the "politics of violence and terror".

"This is one of the most audacious attacks in recent times. Last night's attack has naturally shocked everyone," Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani told reporters outside the Medanta Medicity Hospital after meeting the 84-year-old Congress leader V.C. Shukla who received multiple bullet injuries in the Maoist attack.

"Everyone should come together to fight this (Maoist) challenge," he added.

Shukla, a former union minister, was critically injured after a large number of Maoists, hiding in a forested area of the southern Bastar region, attacked a Congress party convoy around 5.15 p.m. Saturday.

Advani said he had spoken to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and requested him that "concerted efforts should be made to combat and overcome this (Maoist) menace."

BJP president Rajnath Singh said: "I want to appeal to all political parties, whether it is Naxalism (Maoism) or terrorism, we need to rid the country of these issues, rising above party politics." He added, "The entire country should come together".

Terming the attack as "barbaric" and a shocking example of politics of violence and terror by the Maoists, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Brinda Karat said her party has demanded a high-level probe into this incident.

Karat blamed the BJP government, who is in power in the state, for the attacks.

"The BJP government is certainly answerable and responsible for this, because there are reports that even security arrangements which should have been made were not done it is a high level intelligence failure," Karat told a news channel here.

The leaders conveyed their condolences to the families of those who killed in the attack.

The attack left close to 30 dead, including two senior Congress leaders - Mahendra Karma and Nand Kumar Patel - and former legislator Uday Mudaliar. At least 25 were injured.