With the UPA government facing criticism for the sudden spurt in Naxal attacks in some parts of the country, the Congress advocated a carrot and stick policy to deal with the problem.
“A process of dialogue should start with those who have left violence while, at the same time, those who believe in violence and nothing else should also be dealt with firmly,” said party spokesman Shakeel Ahmed.
The Centre has taken effective steps like the formation of a specialised anti-Naxal force and a grant of Rs 500 crore (Rs 5 billion) for the modernisation of police forces, Ahmed said.
The party also wanted the issues of poverty and discrimination to be addressed.
“Reasons like poverty and discrimination due to which people join Naxalism should also be tackled and removed. We agree with the Home Minister’s view that we should talk to those who can leave the path of violence,” Ahmed said.
Asked to comment on party general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s statement that the “inability” of (non-Congress) state governments to reach out to people was one of the reasons for spread of Naxalism, he said “all this is included in what I said.”