Govt to hold all-party meet on Naxal issue
New Delhi: Government will hold an all-party meeting this week to finalise a strategy to resolve the Maoist problem decisively as the UPA expressed serious concern over the May 25 audacious attack in Bastar that killed 27 people including three prominent Congress leaders.
A decision in this regard was taken at the meeting of the UPA Coordination Committee at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s residence, which was attended by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, NC chief Farooq Abdullah and IUML chief E Ahamed.
The refrain in the ruling Congress is that since all parties by and large share a common view on fighting the Naxals, a joint response can be decided to tackle the menace.
Terming the Chhattisgarh incident as "an attack on very foundations of democracy and entire political system", Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said after the meeting that this is something which calls not only for a UPA Coordination Committee meeting but for an all-party meeting.
"Because it`s an attack on the system, attack on very foundations of democracy, which needs to be addressed. This incident affects our democracy and our Parliamentary norms. Hence a discussion with all is needed so that a strategy can be formed to resolve this problem for ever," he said.
The minister said that detailed discussions were held in the UPA Coordination Committee over the situation arising out of the recent Maoist attacks in Chhattisgarh.
"It was decided to have an all-party meeting on a day which is convenient to most parties. Serious concern was expressed over the attack on Congress leaders and various political are being contacted. An all-party meeting will be held.
"The attacks in Chhattisgarh was an attack really on our democratic system and all political parties must be involved and engaged in the further course of action and the strategy to be evolved," he said.
Nath said the all-party meeting will be held after the June 5 meeting of Chief Ministers of Naxal-hit states here.
The Bastar attack was also discussed in Congress Core
Group meeting on Saturday and Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had briefed the apex decision making body about the incident and actions taken thereafter.
Maoists had ambushed a convoy of Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh`s Bastar district on May 25, killing 27 people including PCC chief Nand Kumar Patel, his son Dinesh, senior Congress leader Mahendra Karma and ex-MLA Uday Mudaliyar.
Replying to questions on whether an incident of Naxal attack required this level of meeting, Nath said, "It`s not a mere a Naxal attack. I do not think we should minimise it. We cannot minimise what`s happened in Chhattisgarh."
The minister said that this incident is something which calls not only for a UPA Coordination Committee meeting but for an all-party meeting because "it`s an attack on the system, attack on very foundations of democracy, which needs to be addressed".
Asked what strategy to tackle the Maoists was discussed in the UPA meet, the minister said that no strategy is being formed until the government talks to all parties.
"There is no strategy, which is being formed until we talk to all political parties. A formal all-party will be called. We have to fix the date with the political parties, which is convenient to them to have this.
"The Home Minister is having a meeting with Chief Ministers of the Naxal-affected states in next two three days after that we will hold an all-party meeting and engage and move forward on what should be done," Nath said.
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