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'Development answer to insurgency'

It was a rare sight in the Congress headquarters on Friday when party chief Sonia Gandhi briefly matched the steps of tribal dancers during a Mahila Congress convention here.

delhi Updated: Dec 17, 2011 00:56 IST
HT Correspondent

It was a rare sight in the Congress headquarters on Friday when party chief Sonia Gandhi briefly matched the steps of tribal dancers during a Mahila Congress convention here.

Soon after Gandhi inaugurated the party's convention on empowerment to tribal women, she was requested by a woman to join them in their dance performance. A smiling Gandhi not only obliged them but freely interacted with tribal women during the programme. She was also seen accepting their gifts.

In her speech, Gandhi advocated proper implementation of rural development programmes to curb the menace of Naxalism in tribal-dominated areas.

"We know there is left-wing extremism and insurgency in many districts of the country which have a sizeable tribal population. We can defeat them only by properly implementing rural development programmes," Gandhi said. She also asked her party to campaign for tribal rights where the Centre's welfare programmes are not properly implemented.