New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held an all party meet on the Naxal insurgency. An all-party resolution against naxal violence and armed insurgency was passed at the meeting. The meet ended with the Prime Minister assuring full support to the governments in Naxal affected states. The meeting was held in the backdrop of the recent attacks in Bastar in which top Congress leaders were killed.
Ruling out any compromise on the issue, the parties in a unanimous resolution backed the Centre's two-pronged strategy of sustained operations against Maoists and rapid development of Naxal-affected areas.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in his opening remarks, said there was a need to further fine-tune and strengthen the strategy. Terming it as a frontal attack on democratic foundations of the nation, Singh said, "The strength and robustness of the democratic forces in our country would suffer if the space for political activity gets restricted because of fear or terror."
He said the Chhattisgarh attack marked for the first time that Naxals have targeted top leadership of a political party in a "systematic" manner. The political parties resolved that nothing could be more dangerous than the insurgency of the CPI(Maoist) in pursuit of its misguided goal of overthrowing Parliamentary democracy and the Constitution of India through violent means.
The meeting decided that the states would lead the fight against Maoists and the Centre assured all assistance in this regard. "We urge them (Centre and the states) to use all legitimate means to defend the security of the country and its institutions and quell armed insurgency and violence," the resolution said.
The meeting was attended by Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Leaders of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, BSP chief Mayawati, SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, Shiv Sena leader Anant Geete, JD(U) President Sharad Yadav among others.
The political parties said the May 25 incident was a pre-meditated attack on political workers with the intent to intimidate and overawe all political workers in that region and to thwart the political mobilisation of the people.
"It was an attack on democracy, freedom, and free speech and expression. Nothing can be more dangerous to our Republic than the insurgency of the CPI(Maoist) in pursuit of its misguided goal of overthrowing Parliamentary democracy and the Constitution of India through violent means. The Indian State cannot, and will not, accept the pernicious Maoist doctrine," the resolution said.
The Home Minister said the Centre was contemplating "very strong action" against Naxals as per the directions of leaders of political parties who attended the meeting convened by the Prime Minister.
Political parties also urged state governments to draw upon their own resources as well as those provided by the Centre to re-establish the rule of law and accelerate development activities in the affected states.
"We resolve that we shall remain united and we shall speak in one voice and act with a sense of unified purpose and will," they said. Shinde said never before such a strong resolution was adopted by political parties on the Naxal issue and they have asked the government to take "strictest possible action."
The Home Minister remained non-committal when asked if the government would use the military against the Naxals. "I will not say anything on taking military assistance but we are contemplating very strict action. When such attacks take place it is our duty to protect democracy," Shinde said.
(With Additional Inputs From PTI)