Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Sunday said the Central Government is determined to defeat the Maoists. Calling them cowards, he dared them to follow democratic path to fight for their cause.
Addressing a huge gathering of tribals at a public meeting in Veer Kamal Maidan, here, Ramesh admitted that the tribals were victims of continuous neglect of the Government over the years and it had helped the Maoists spread their network. However, he declared that the Government has learnt from the past mistake and things are changing since 2006.
Explaining that tribals have been victims of displacement and disillusionment, he said these factors helped the Maoists grow in the area. “The tribals were denied of their due and their resentment is genuine. But gun culture is not a solution and will not help,” he said. “A new atmosphere is required to initiate development and I am working towards it,” he announced. Laying thrust on connectivity and housing development for the tribals under IAY and providing employment under MGNREGS, he said the path opted by the Maoists is wrong. He promised that his Ministry will give priority to the development of tribal inhabited areas. He called upon the tribal men have to shun liquor.
Maintaining that he wants to see a tribal as President, Prime Minister and Chief Ministers, he said liquor was affecting their family life. Tribal women are working while men are drinking, he said. Speaking on the occasion, Union Tribal Affairs and Panchayati Raj Minister Kishore Chandra Deo said the UPA Government at the Centre remains focused on development of tribals and efforts made for their upliftment in the last six years had not been done in the last 50 years. Lamenting that State Government was yet to implement PESA and FRA in letter and spirit, he expressed his helplessness. “We can provide fund and make policies. But the State Governments need to implement it,” he said. The meeting was organised by Adivasi Adhikar Sangram Samiti.