States should not shirk from their responsibility of governance and delivery of development programmes in Maoist areas, home minister P Chidambaram told the collectors of 60 Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected districts, 55 of them in non-Congress states.
“The burden cannot be shifted from states to the Centre, which does not have resources to execute programmes in districts. Please persuade your states to take up this responsibility,” Chidambaram said at a workshop on 'Appropriate development strategies for effective implementation of rural development schemes in IAP districts” on Tuesday.
Chidambaram's reaction came after suggestions from some collectors, who wanted the Centre to take over responsibility of delivering public services like roads, banks and mobile towers, and also want relaxation of rules, like in NREGA in these areas.
Stating that development and restoration of law and order should go hand in hand, the home minister described the situation in LWE as a battle about winning minds and hearts of villagers. “We cannot win this war if people side with Maoists.”
“We have to address trust deficit in these areas. State should take ownership. Chief ministers and other leaders should visit these districts, which they often don't. They can spend a couple of nights and hold meetings in these areas, as they are close to people than anyone,” Chidambram said.
Last year, the Centre had launched an Integrated Action Plan – with R25 crore and R30 crore for 2010-11 and 2011-12 respectively – provided to each of the 60 LWE districts to plug gaps in development.
At least 55 of these districts in central India are in non-Congress ruled states, such as Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, MP, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh.
BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said, “LWE is not just a law and order problem. A
unified strategy of the Centre and all affected states is required to tackle it. This is a war against India.”