Development only way to tackle Maoist menace: Mayawati

New Delhi, June 10 (ANI): Asserting that there is a need to understand as to why people turn into Naxalites, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati on Monday said development is the only way to tackle the Maoist menace.

Underlining the need for better coordination between the States and the Centre, Mayawati said special attention must be paid on those areas inhabited by the tribals and weaker sections.

"We need to understand why become Naxalites. The Centre and the state governments need to know why people become Naxalites. And we need to find out solutions so that these people can be stopped from taking the wrong path," Mayawati told mediapersons after the all-party meet held at Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh's official 7, Race Course Road (RCR) residence here.

"Moreover, the people who have become Naxalites in our country have not taken that path happily, but because they were under some depression," she added.

Today's all-party meeting was called to chalk out a strategy to deal with the Naxal violence. The meeting took place in the backdrop of May 25 audacious attack in Chhattisgarh that killed 28 people, including three prominent Congress leaders

A decision to hold an all-party meet was taken at the meeting of the UPA Coordination Committee last week at the Prime Minister's residence, which was attended by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, NCP President Sharad Pawar, National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah and IUML chief E. Ahamed.

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh had earlier told the chief minister's conference on internal security that the government's two-pronged anti-Maoist strategy of sustained operations and addressing development issues needed to be strengthened.

"I must also emphasize here that the two-pronged strategy that we have followed so far needs to be strengthened and pursued with rigour. Even as we intensify our efforts to strengthen the security and intelligence apparatus in areas affected by Maoist violence, we should be able to ensure that people residing in Left Wing Extremist affected areas are able to live in an environment of peace and security and derive full benefits of our development efforts," he added.

Heavily-armed Maoists had on May 25 ambushed a convoy of Congress leaders in the state's Bastar district, killing 28 people including PCC chief Nand Kumar Patel, his son Dinesh, Congress leader Mahendra Karma and ex-MLA Uday Mudliyar and injuring 37 others. (ANI)