The Congress today boycotted an all-party meeting called by Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh to discuss strategy on dealing with Naxalites. The meeting was convened in the wake of an attack on a Congress convoy on Saturday by suspected Maoists that left 24 people dead.
The state Congress unit has been on the offensive since the attack, alleging that the BJP government had not provided adequate security for its leaders who were on the campaign trail. Almost the entire top leadership of the Congress state unit, including its chief Nand Kumar Patel and Salwa Judum founder Mahendra Karma
, were killed in the attack.
Ravindra Chaubey, Leader of Opppostion in the state said, ''Did the state government not have any information about our programme? It was their duty to give us security. Those who were part of this carelessness should be punished. Not only do we oppose this all-party meet, but we have decided not to attend it.''
The Left and the NCP also took on the government at the meeting today for its failure to protect citizens and said that the BJP had lost the faith of the people.
BJP president Rajnath Singh, meanwhile said, "Naxalism is a serious challenge. And we need to be united to fight it. And it's sad when terrorism and Naxalism are politicised for political gains. I want to request the central government to come up with a comprehensive action plan with all the states."
The Centre, meanwhile, is holding a series of internal meetings to rework its plan on battling Maoist activity in the heart of the country, termed for the first time by a senior minister as "terrorism".