Sunday, October 15, 2006

Take naxal menace seriously, Sonia tells Chhattisgarh govt.

Raipur, Oct. 14 (PTI): Congress president Sonia Gandhi today expressed concern over the law and order situation in Chhattisgarh and asked the State Government to address the naxal menace in a comprehensive way.

"The law and order situation has collapsed in Chhattisgarh ... The naxal situation should also be taken seriously," Gandhi told a public meeting here.

"Naxalite violence should be taken in a comprehensive way as violence cannot give solution to any problem," she said adding "misguided" youth should be brought to the mainstream.

"The Government and the administration should also carry out development work in the affected areas but at the same time law and order should also be maintained," the UPA chairperson said.

The administration should also ensure that there should not be injustice to any section of the society, she reminded.

In his address, former chief minister Ajit Jogi appealed to the Congress president to take measures to stop "massacres" in Bastar and Sarguja regions of the state.

"Naxalites are accusing the people of working for the police and police and Salwa Judum (an anti-naxal campaign) activists are accusing people of siding with naxalites," Jogi pointed out.

Praising the previous Ajit Jogi-led Congress government in the state, Gandhi said "That time, the NDA was not cooperating with the state. Inspite of that, the Jogi government had carried out lot of development work. Currently BJP is ruling Chhattisgarh and inspite of it the Centre is extending all help."

The amount of money sanctioned by the Centre to Chhattisgarh "is a record in the history of the state" and the UPA government had also selected the state for various schemes like Rajiv Gandhi Gram Vidyut Yojana, Rural Health Mission, and Employment Guarantee Scheme among others, she said.

On the power situation, the Congress president said "the one-time power surplus state has now been converted into a power deficit State, causing hardship to farmers, labourers and common man."

Gandhi said that UPA was committed to the development of all sections of society.

"There should not be injustice to any section of the society, whether minority, OBC, dalits or any other community," she said.

Addressing the gathering, Jogi said when there was a hike of Rs 5 per bag of cement during his government's rule the BJP had termed it as 'Jogi tax'. "Today cement is being sold for Rs 170," he added.

"Now, what will we call it, Vajpayee tax, Advani tax or Raman tax?" he asked.

Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Mahendra Karma, CPCC President Charan Das Mahant and AICC General Secretary Mukul Wasnik also addressed the meeting.

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