Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Naxals are “misguided youth” -- SONIA GANDHI

Sonia extends olive branch to Maoists

Sujay Mehdudia

Ranchi: With Jharkhand facing threat from Maoists of violence and poll boycott, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday extended an olive branch to the “misguided youth” involved in naxalite activities, urging them to join the national mainstream.

Addressing an election meeting in support of Union Minister for Food Processing Subodh Kant Sahay here, Ms. Gandhi said some people had adopted the wrong path of violence. They should give up such a movement and come back into the mainstream. “Violence is no solution to any problem and it only leads to loss of lives and displacement of the common man.”

The appeal by Ms. Gandhi comes as the State prepares for the second round of polling on April 23. The first round witnessed massive violence.

Stating that India was faced with aggression from external forces, the Congress president said the threat was more serious from the internal forces that were out to destroy the unity and integrity of the nation.

Communal forces

“The communal forces are bent upon dividing people on the lines of caste and religion and this is a threat that only a strong party like the Congress can face,” she remarked.

Ms. Gandhi said that when she came here four years ago, she had promised that the public sector unit Heavy Engineering Corporation would not be sold. Now it had turned around and would get the status of a mini-ratna undertaking.

Later, Ms. Gandhi left for Samastipur in Bihar to address a public meeting

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