Against the backdrop of a string of Maoist attacks, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday pitched for urgent and considered action to root out the problem of Left-wing extremism and asserted that no quarter can be given to those challenging the authority of the Indian state.
Singling out Left-wing extremism as the gravest internal security threat faced by the nation, he said, "Recent events have underscored the need for urgent and considered action to root out this problem".
"No quarter can be given to those who have taken upon themselves to challenge the authority of the Indian state and the fabric of our democratic polity," he said, inaugurating the Civil Services Day function in New Delhi.
The Prime Minister's remarks come in the wake of the worst-ever Maoist attack at Chitangufa in Chhattisgarh on April 6 in which 75 CRPF men and a policeman were killed.
The Naxalites had also opened fire on five separate CRPF camps in quick succession in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh last night.
Underscoring the fact that Left-wing extremism was flourishing in under-developed areas of the country, Singh asked the civil servants to ensure that no area of the country is denied the benefits of the government's developmental programmes.
"But we cannot overlook the fact that many areas in which such extremism flourishes are under-developed and many of the people, mainly poor tribals, who live in these areas have not shared equitably in the fruits of development.
"It is incumbent upon us to ensure that no area of our country is denied the benefits of our ambitious developmental programmes," the Prime Minister said.
He asked them to devise innovative ways and means to harness the tools of information technology and to involve the intended beneficiaries in implementation so that complaints of leakages, corruption and lack of transparency get addressed.
Singh said that inclusive growth was the centerpiece of the developmental agenda of the UPA and fast economic growth provided the government with the resources to address the problems of poverty, ignorance and disease.
"Rapid growth will have little meaning, however, unless social and economic inequalities, which still afflict our society, are not eliminated quickly and effectively," he said.
The Prime Minister said that despite the global economic slow down, India was able to post a respectable growth of 6.7 per cent in 2008-09.
"The growth rate for 2009-10 is now estimated at 7.2 per cent and the forecast for 2010-11 is 8.25 per cent," he said, adding the medium term target set by the government was to return the economy to an annual growth rate of 9 per cent.