Vishakhapatnam, Mar 4 (ANI): Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh has once again stressed on the need to secure the cooperation of tribal communities in curbing Maoist forces.
Reflecting on the simmering internal siege across central and eastern India, Ramesh asserted that counter-insurgency operations had to be supplemented with proactive development initiatives in the backward and tribal-dominated areas of the country.
"We can win this battle against Maoist ideologies, Maoist cadres, Maoist forces, not only through police action. We have to be showing a different development strategy, which is more sensitive to the needs of tribal communities. We have to have more political action, we need political activities, political campaigns. Ultimately, we need the cooperation of the people. Unless the tribal communities are with us, we are not going to win this war on the Maoists," Ramesh told media on the sidelines of a function here.
Ramesh urged Maoists to give up arms and resolve their differences with the administration through dialogue and be a part of India's political mainstream.
"If Maoists want to come and fight election, win elections through democratic means, not through coercion or intimidation, but through democratic means, fine, by all means they must be part of the political mainstream. The land of Mahatma Gandhi cannot become a battleground. The tribals cannot become caught between the government and the Maoists," said Ramesh.
Several analysts and security experts have, at many forums, suggested a similar two-way strategy to combat the menace, by promoting development in the affected areas while simultaneously boosting security presence to thwart the ultras.
To this end, the central and state governments have formulated several aid packages and schemes to promote progress and development in the areas, to ensure the vulnerable tribal and rural populace is not influenced by Maoist propaganda of the state being 'against their interests.'
The schemes aim at holistically spurring progress and peace by enacting several poverty eradication measures and providing employment, medical care, education and essential services in the backward regions of the Maoist strongholds. (ANI)
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