Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh stirred a controversy on Tuesday by suggesting that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had a deal with Maoist rebels in Chhattisgarh, a day after insurgents gunned down 25 soldiers in the Sukma region.
Speaking to reporters, Singh said he stood by earlier statements that said chief minister Raman Singh and the BJP won elections from the red corridor because there was “some understanding” between them.
He also said the government’s recall of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes last year had had no impact on Maoist violence. “The government should talk to all parties. Unless we take tribal villagers into confidence, naxalism cannot be contained.”
His comments came just hours after Union home minister Rajnath Singh described the militant ambush on Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel as a “challenge” and said the Centre would review its counter-insurgency tactics.
When in power at the Centre, the Congress had unleashed Operation Greenhunt, which attempted to drive rebels out of their forested stronghold in central India with a wave of military action, followed by development.
But the operation came under attack for alleged human rights excesses and was discontinued. In 2013, several top leaders of the Congress were killed in an explosion orchestrated by the Maoist rebels.