MUMBAI: Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday demanded that Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis must resign in the wake of Naxal attack in Gadchiroli which resulted in the martyrdom of 15 policemen and a civilian.
The Congress also made similar demand and said that the state government must announce a compensation of Rs 50 lakh each for the families of the martyred jawans, all members of the Quick Response Team (QRT).
The NCP chief posted a tweet saying that since Fadnavis is also Home Minister "he should step down immediately". "Those who feel shame of conscience if not shame of public opinion would have resigned. But the people who are in power today are not going to do so," he added.
Pawar claimed that the Naxals are getting more powerful in the state because the state government is not paying any attention to law and order situation in the Naxal-affected areas.
"Hence, there is no option but to condemn the attack and express grief over the jawans' deaths," the NCP president said.
State NCP chief and former Maharashtra home minister Jayant Patil said the Naxals decided to target the QRT members on Maharashtra's foundation day because they wanted to break the spirit of the state police.
"We will not allow this attempt to demoralise the state by deliberately carrying out the attack on Maharashtra Day to succeed," Patil tweeted.
Maharashtra Congress president Ashok Chavan said that chief minister Fadnavis should take moral responsibility of the dastardly attack and step down. "What was the home department doing when Naxals were planning such a huge attack on the foundation day of Maharashtra?" he asked.
Chavan also took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said that in 2016 when PM had announced demonetisation he had said that it would curb terror and Naxal activities, but this is not the case.
Sixteen persons, including 15 policemen, lost their lives after Naxals blew up their vehicle in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra district on Wednesday.
(with PTI inputs)