Hardened Centre to go after top Naxal brains
In the wake of May 25 ambush on Congress motorcade in Sukma, there’s a tangible hardening of stance in the Centre’s policy to deal with the Maoist insurgency in Chhattisgarh and in the entire Left-extremism dominated ‘red corridor’ overlapping five states.
Abandoning the earlier stand of looking at the issue as a “socio economic problem”, the Centre is preparing a blueprint to be presented to the CMs’ meeting on June 5 which focuses on enhanced security cover for vulnerable politicians, coordinated action in the overlapping Maoist insurgency-affected areas and, most importantly, specific action plan to go after the Maoist “military strategists and guerrilla warfare experts”. No more talks or offer of political engagement.
Waking up to the crisis after the near annihilation of its state leadership in Chhattisgarh, indications are that the Congress leadership is pressing the government to go after the “perpetrators of the May 25 attack”. It’s worried that the Maoists may come in the way of its election campaign and booth management just not in Chhattisgarh, but in other Maoist-affected states in the general elections as well.
Home Ministry, it seems, has been asked to acquire surveillance equipment that would help them to go after the insurgent formations.
The hardening of the stance was best seen through Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh changing statements, in which he equated the Maoists with “terrorists” and the Congress following and categorising them as subversive forces inimical to tribals. The Centre has asked CM Raman Singh to encourage political rallies in the state by assuring foolproof security to the leaders, but the Congress state leadership’s criticisim of the state administrative machinery may come in the way of a joint action.
Sources said it was the Centre’s direction to Raman Singh to call an all-party meet on Thursday which surprisingly the Congress Legislative Party in Chhattisgarh has decided to boycott, as the agenda has not been shared with them.
AICC in-charge of Chhattisgarh B K Hariprasad as well as the Congress spokesperson Bhaktacharan Das, taking a political line, targetted the Raman Singh government. “What is the point of an all-party meeting now, why did the CM not call the meeting earlier?