State govts should reach out to people to tackle Naxals: Rahul


AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi at a press conference in Ranchi on Thursday. PTI "If you have to combat Naxalism, you should reach out to the people," Gandhi told a press conference in Ranchi.

Replying to questions on recent Naxal attacks, he said, "Except for some pockets, the overall situation in India is good ... In states like Orissa and Chhattisgarh the governments are not reaching out to the people." He added that "The problem is just not here, but everywhere in the world."

Earlier, the Congress general secretary visited the house of Inspector Francis Induwar, who was beheaded by Maoists ten days back, and sympathised with his children, saying he had lost his father to a suicide bomber.

During his 20-minute visit to the house, Rahul interacted with the widow of the special branch inspector, Sunita, and her children studying in classes V, VI and VII.

Stating that there were 'two Hindusthans -- one with basic amenities and opportunities, while the other was poverty-stricken, he told reporters that all development programmes like NREGA should reach to the people.

Accusing Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati of opposing NREGA scheme to provide jobs to the rural poor, Gandhi said, "The UP CM is not interested in NREGA and has termed it as not good. We can't do much if state governments do not implement the programmes," he said.

"If state governments implement NREGA, it functions smoothly, if they don't, then there is corruption in the scheme," Gandhi said when told about corruption in the programme.
Stating that the Centre's efforts were to help the poor, Gandhi, speaking about the price rise, said state governments also had the responsibility in checking it.

The Congress had been focusing on NREGA as it had benefitted crores of people, he said, adding his party was focussed to uplift the downtrodden.

Asked whether Congressmen were following his agenda of uplifting the poor, he said there were many leaders in Congress who wanted to understand the problems of the people.

The Congress leader is on a two-day visit to Jharkhand in the run-up to the Indian Youth Congress elections.

Later, addressing a Youth Congress convention at Medininagar, the headquarter town of Palamau district, Gandhi said the Congress in Jharkhand had initially taken a back seat following its inability to get in touch with the people, particularly the youth.

Lamenting on the party's non-representation in the assembly from Palamau division, he said the next elections in the state should be a challenge for the Youth Congress.
About 600 YC leaders attended the convention.

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