Chhattisgarh all-party meet on Naxals for better coordination to tackle menace

Raipur, May 30 (ANI): An all-party meeting convened by Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Dr. Raman Singh here on Thursday on the Maoist issue urged the Central Government to come out with a work plan, and called for better coordination to tackle the threat.

The meeting, which was attended by leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Left Parties, concluded that the Maoist issue is a national problem and not specific to a particular state.

The Chhattisgarh Chief Minister, while informing mediapersons here about what transpired in the meeting, said all leaders condemned the brutal attack by the ultras on the Congress leaders.

"Everybody present in the meeting condemned this incident and said that those responsible must be identified and duly punished. They talked about better coordination between the Centre and the state to tackle this Naxal problem and also gave suggestions about the future course of action. Both long-term and short-term suggestions were given," said Singh.

"Everybody said that it is a national problem and called for increasing the coordination between the Centre and state to tackle this menace," he added.

Singh, however, expressed his disappointment with the decision of the Congress leaders not to participate in the meeting.

"From the BJP and the government's side, our effort was to make sure that everybody is present in the meeting. We first of all urged the Congress because it is the opposition. We made all attempts to ensure that they come, but I am sad that they did not turn up for this important meeting. Their (Congress leaders) presence would have further strengthened the meeting," he said.

Congress Party boycotted the meeting while maintaining that such meetings have no meaning, as the Chhattisgarh Government did nothing to provide security to its leaders in the state

"The state government is not doing anything. It failed to provide security to the Congress Yatra. Such meetings have no meaning," Leader of Opposition in the state assembly, Ravindra Choubey, told mediapersons at the state Congress headquarters here yesterday.

The Chhattisgarh Government convened the all-party meeting today as a part of its exercise to take all political parties into confidence for a renewed offensive against the rebels in Bastar for which the Centre and the state governments are reworking anti-Maoist strategies.

Heavily-armed Maoists had on Saturday ambushed a convoy of Congress leaders in the state's Bastar district, killing 27 people including PCC chief Nand Kumar Patel, his son Dinesh, Congress leader Mahendra Karma and ex-MLA Uday Mudliyar and injuring 37 others.

Former Union Minister V.C. Shukla injured in the attack is being treated at a Medanta hospital in Gurgaon. His condition is stated to be critical, but stable. (ANI)

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