Centre to convene all-party meeting on Naxal violence
Called in the wake of the fatal May 25 Naxal attack on the Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh, the UPA coordination committee on Monday focused on the ways to tackle the growing menace of Left Wing Extremism.
As reported by Express, the UPA meet was focused on Naxal violence rather than on food security bill.
After the one-and-a-half-hour-long meeting, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said it was decided that an all-party meet would be called to discuss the Chhattisgarh incident.
Asked whether it was merely the issue of Naxalism that was taken up at the UPA coordination meet, Nath retorted: “It was not a mere Naxal attack. It was an attack on the whole political system. There will have to be an all-party meeting on this.”
Nath said Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde would also meet the Chief Ministers of the Naxal-affected states on June 5.
NCP leader Praful Patel also confirmed that no other issue was raised or discussed. He told Express: “Nothing else could be discussed or taken up -- it was decided that an all-party meeting was required on what steps should be taken to curb the Naxal problem.”
NCP chief and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has spoken in favour of a more nuanced approach to deal with the scenario.
Instead of using forces, which could lead to largescale damage and even annihilation of tribal population, he has favoured dialogue and developmental measures combined with a security upgrade. The Union Home Ministry is considering using logistical support of the Army and Air Force to crack down on Naxals operating in the contiguous areas covering five states.
Sources said the Centre would prefer to have the backing of the political class before it sought any military intervention in the area as cooperation of all states, including the non-Congress ruled such as Chhattisgarh, is a must for such an operation. As for the pending bills on food security and land acquisition, Nath said all options were open before the government. In other words, it could either opt for an ordinance to implement its ambitious food bill or call a special session or even prepone the Monsoon Session of Parliament. However, there is no guarantee that the bills, especially the food security one, would get passed via Parliament route. The Samajwadi Party has already opined that the food bill is ‘anti-farmer’. Pawar also has strong reservations about its viability. That leaves the Congress a bit isolated on the issue.