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Mayawati blames central government for Maoist violence


Lucknow : Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has blamed the central government for the Maoist violence in the country and said the problem would hit her state too if New Delhi’s “apathy” continued.

“The central government ought to realise that the rise in Naxalite movement is not just a law and order issue, it has socio-economic roots,” the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief said in a statement late Tuesday.

The comments came a day after more than 30 people were killed in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district when Maoists blasted a bus carrying both civilians and special police officers (SPOs).

“We have been seeking central assistance for economic development so that people do not get lured by Maoist ideas. But because the centre has not responded, I am afraid this menace (Maoism) could grow beyond control in Uttar Pradesh also,” Mayawati said.

She said the “policies of the central government and the neglect by successive state governments” were the key factors behind the tendency among a section of the poor tribals to embrace Maoism.

She added: “It is only the BSP government which has succeeded in keeping Maoists under check in Uttar Pradesh, where we have adopted a two-pronged strategy to tackle the problem.

“While on the one hand we concentrate on the development of Naxal-affected areas through the development of infrastructure and the creation of employment avenues, on the other we maintained police pressure by keeping their violence under check,” she said.

Mayawati said she had given land ownership titles to over 10,000 tribals under the Forest Rights Act besides implementing other welfare schemes, including scholarships for tribal students, in eight districts where the Maoists are known to be active.

“During the three years of BSP rule in the state, we have laid a huge network of roads measuring 2,646 km at a cost of more than Rs.900 crore in Mirzapur, Sonbhadra, Chandauli, Kushinagar, Mau, Ghazipur, Ballia and Deoria districts,” she said.

“Since such economic measures have to be sustained for a longer period of time, we need appropriate financial assistance from the centre,” she said. “But the central government has not cared to respond to our repeated pleas for a special economic package.”