BJP on Friday demanded a statement from Home Minister P Chidambaram on a media report of a suspected Maoist allegedly sharing dais with Rahul Gandhi in Lanjigarh in Orissa and said Government should come clean on the issue.
"This is a serious matter. This is how the government is proceeding in its fight against Naxals. While one of its ministers (Mamata Banerjee) is speaking in Naxals' favour. Now the crown prince (Rahul Gandhi) of Congress is sharing dais with a suspected Maoist. Government appears divided on the issue. It is totally unacceptable... Home Minister should clarify the matter. He must come clean and make a statement ," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javdekar told reporters outside Parliament.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari, however, downplayed the issue, saying that the import of Rahul Gandhi's visit to Niyamagiri hills on was to send a larger message outside to the indigenous people of India that their concerns were not unseen and unheard in the echelons of power.
"By making this point forcefully and articulately that he is the advocate of their interests in Delhi and they can get justice in the scheme of things within the India Constitution.. is a very very strong and very sensitive message to the people, who were otherwise feeling they do not have a place in the national mainstream," Tewari said. According to a media report, Gandhi during his visit to Orissa, shared dais with a tribal leader, suspected to be a Naxal sympathiser.