The government will not allow the escalation of violence in Naxalite strongholds to mar the assembly elections in Maharashtra or the other states going to polls on October 13, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said on Wednesday. He also promised a safer Maharashtra in the next five years.
“The Naxalite attacks in Gadchiroli and neighbouring districts will not dampen the elections. Adequate security is being provided and the capacity of the forces enhanced to carry out elections in all the areas,” said the senior Congress leader who was in Mumbai on Wednesday.
The assurance came a day after Naxalites beheaded and dumped the body of Jharkhand police inspector Francis Induwar on the side of a highway. Condemning the killing, Chidambaram said: “This kind of violence is unacceptable. They [Naxalites] should abjure from violence and take up the path of dialogue and democracy. We can also give them the kind of development they are fighting for.”
The home minister, who was at Gandhi Bhavan, the Congress party office at Nariman Point, said it would help Maharashtra if its people voted for the same government that’s at the Centre.
Of the Rs 25,000-crore annual state expenditure for 2008-09, the Centre contributed over Rs 6,500 crore, he said, “because of the strong connect the state has with the Centre”. Chidambaram said states like Orissa and West Bengal, which do not work in sync with the Centre, have not benefited similarly.