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PM, Sonia reach Chhattisgarh, condemn naxal attack

delhi Updated: May 26, 2013 14:09 IST
Manmohan Singh

Prime Minister Manmoham Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi arrived in Raipur on Sunday in the wake of the deadly Naxal attack on a convoy of Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh's Sukma district.

"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi will pay tribute to the deceased here at Congress Bhawan and later they will leave for Jagdalpur to meet those injured in the incident," a senior party leader told PTI.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Sunday met state Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel's family members in Raipur at Devendra Nagar and expressed his condolence over the demise of the senior party leader.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi condemned the attack on her party colleagues as "despicable" and held a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the "shocking" incident.

Gandhi, told reporters in New Delhi after the meeting with Singh, that they are "shocked, astounded and pained by the attack on our colleagues."

She condemned the Maoist attack on the Congress Parivartan Yatra that led to the death of party leader Mahendra Karma.

The UPA chairperson said the attack on ordinary party workers is "despicable".

"Naturally we are devastated... It is despicable that ordinary people engaged in political activity were attacked," she said.

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, who reached Raipur on Sunday termed the Maoist attack on his party leaders as not an attack on Congress but an attack on democracy.

"It is not an attack on Congress. It is an attack on democracy. But, we'll not fear from such an attack and continue to move forward with enthusiasm," Rahul Gandhi said.

Gandhi addressed media briefly at the Raipur Congress Bhawan after reaching in Raipur from New Delhi at about 2am on Sunday.

"I met VC Shukla and other injured leaders at a hospital. As soon as his condition becomes stable, he'll be sent to Delhi," he said.

"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi will also be visiting and meeting the victims this morning," Gandhi said.

Former union minister VC Shukla and several others were injured on Saturday when heavily-armed Maoists ambushed a convoy of party leaders inside a dense forest in Chhattisgarh's Bastar district.

Responding to a question on the imposition of President's Rule in the state the Gandhi family scion said "it is not time to do politics".

It is not time to do politics here. It's a very sad incident and we all have to stand by it together," he said.

Shukla and other injured party leaders are undergoing treatment at the Rama Krishna Care Hospital in Raipur.