RAIPUR: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Tuesday met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and urged him to generate more employment opportunities in the state's Bastar region to end the Naxal problem.
During the meeting here, the chief minister discussed various issues such as increasing telecom facilities in Naxal-affected regions and deployment of two more CRPF battalions in Bastar.
The home minister assured immediate action on the same, an official statement from the state government said.
Bhagel said iron ore is available in abundance in the Bastar region and if the ore is made available at 30% discount to steel plants to be set up in Bastar, then the investment of hundreds of crores of rupees and thousands of direct and indirect employment opportunities will be created.
He also said that grid power has not yet reached large parts of the region due to difficult geographical areas.
With the establishment of a large number of solar power plants, it is possible to meet the energy needs of the people and their economic development, the chief minister said.
Besides deployment of two more CRPF battalions in the conflict zone of Bastar, Baghel sought to increase the telecom facilities in the Maoist affected districts.
Baghel demanded a sum of at least Rs 50 crore each year for the development of livelihood in all the seven aspiring districts of the Bastar region of the state.
Baghel also urged Shah not to privatise National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) Limited, to which Shah assured that he would consider the request.
“Shah has assured to give due consideration to the suggestions”, said the officials accompanying the CM.
However, the opposition BJP in Chhattisgarh expressing surprise over the CM's move, called it a tactic of the ruling Congress government just to obtain funds from the Centre in the name of fighting Maoists.
“The Bhupesh Baghel government only looks for seeking the Centre’s assistance but it lacks any effective action plan based on strong policy and vision. And the state couldn’t even properly spend the financial assistance it gets from the central government”, said Dharamlal Kaushik, the leader of the opposition.