Rahul Gandhi asks in Chhattisgarh - ‘Why is Maoism growing?’

April 26th, 2008 - 2:36 pm ICT by admin  

By Sujeet Kumar
Raipur, April 26 (IANS) Congress MP Rahul Gandhi put a poser before non-government organizations (NGOs) and tribal youth cadre of the party during his stay in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Bastar region - “Why is Maoism growing in the state?” Gandhi, who reached the state Friday on a two-day visit as part of his ‘Discover India’ tour of far-flung areas of the country, met a few NGO delegations and tribal youth cadres of the Congress Friday night at the Bastar district headquarters, Jagdalpur, and asked about the reasons behind the rising insurgency in the mineral rich state.

The Congress general secretary also wanted to know the facts about reports that rogue elements have virtually taken over the state government-backed controversial civil militia movement, Salwa Judum, launched in June 2005 in Bastar region to counter guerrillas.

Congress sources said that NGOS and party local tribal youths informed Gandhi that “decades of total neglect of local tribal masses by various governments in welfare schemes and the government’s failure to work out a proper plan for the social and economic development of tribals have nurtured Maoism”.

Some senior tribal cadres of the party drew Gandhi’s attention towards state Congress leader Mahendra Karma, who is also leader of the opposition in the state assembly.

“Karma is leading a movement which is causing a great rift in the state unit because majority of party leaders, included former chief minister Ajit Jogi, want to keep the Congress away from the Salwa Judum as it has resulted in the killings of hundreds of innocent tribals in the past three years,” Congress sources informed IANS.

The local Congress politicians also informed Gandhi about the massive mismanagement by the Bharatiya Janata Party state government in the central government’s flagship scheme, National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) that guarantees 100 days job in a year to a member of each rural household.

“After getting complaints in NREGS, Rahul Gandhi looked towards state president Charandas Mahant, who told Gandhi that he had formed party panels at the local level to find the truth behind the alleged irregularities, but the party cadres rejected Mahant’s statement, saying that he was lying.”

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