Home minister Rajnath Singh Friday firmly ruled out talks with Maoist rebels, assuring states of Delhi’s "administrative leadership and political commitment" in their fight.
In his first statement on dealing with Maoists that wield influence in nearly 180 districts across 10 states, Singh asked states to adopt a uniform and concerted approach. He also nudged the states to lure the armed cadre with attractive surrender packages.
Singh said road construction in Maoist-controlled territories that would make movement of people easier would be more helpful “a handful of operations”. When states indicated they faced too many problems, Singh said the Centre would "micro-manage the ongoing road projects" to keep the deadlines.
"We will take a balanced approach. But the forces will give a befitting reply if they attack," Singh told reporters after chairing the four-hour meeting of chief secretaries and police chiefs of the 10 Maoist-affected states.
The BJP, in the past, blamed the Congress-led UPA coalition for failing to show coherence and cohesiveness in the battle against the extremists who have killed nearly 160 people this year alone. In 2013, nearly 400 people were killed.
Singh, who took notes as states made their presentation and later came up with his response , pledged to fill "critical gaps" in coordination with states.
A government source later said the response of Bihar and Jharkhand to the challenge was considered to be a problem area rather than Chhattisgarh, which will be the focus of the NDA's efforts over the next few months.
Getting down to the specifics, the home minister also advised states to post the young, bold and courageous officers in the Maoist-affected areas.