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Parties must put up united front in dealing with Maoists: Sonia

New Delhi, PTI | Updated : 11 June 2013, 09:10 AM

Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday urged political parties to rise above partisan politics to tackle the threat of Maoists, whom she accused of making "hollow claim" of fighting for tribals.

She, at the same time, stressed that "a clear and unambiguous signal" must be sent out that "we believe that political engagement and developmental programmes are absolutely essential in Maoist affected areas.

"And while fulfilling their responsibilities, the security forces, the development agencies and the political workers must convince the people that the rights of tribal communities will be fully protected and the injustices of the past will be redressed," she said.

In her remarks at the all party-meeting on the Naxal issue, Gandhi said that "we  must send a clear and unambiguous signal that we are united and will remain united in dealing with the Maoist threat using all legitimate means."

The meeting came in the backdrop of the barbaric May 25 attack on Congress leaders in Bastar. Gandhi said that while her own party has been the victimin the "catastrophe" and "there have been security lapses, I believe that we must now rise above partisan politics".

Raman Singh heads the BJP government in Chhattisgarh,which has come under sharp criticism over lack of adequate security arrangements during the Congress Parivartan Yatra.

In the attack, at least three Congress leaders including its PCC chief Nand Kumar Patel and prominent leader Mahendra Karma were among the 27 persons killed.

While noting that the "primary responsibility to quellin surgency lies with the state governments", she said that the central government is duty bound to render every possible assistance to states.

"The primary responsibility to provide good governance and implement development programmes also lies with the state governments. Central government is duty bound to supplement the resources of the states and pay special attention to the scheduled areas," Gandhi said.

First Published: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 09:07 AM
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