With doubts over Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren's political will to take on the Naxals, Home Minister P Chidambaram will be in Raipur on Thursday to give a push to coordinated offensive against the rebels in Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Maharashtra.
In the Chhattisgarh capital, the minister will chair a meeting with Chief Minister Raman Singh, his Orissa counterpart Naveen Patnaik and Maharashtra’s Deputy Chief Minister RR Patil.
Chidambaram, who is keen on helping the states focus on internal security, has also decided to call early next month a chief ministers’ conference on the issue. This will be the third such conference in a year, an attempt by Chidambaram to nudge CMs to keep pace with him as he seeks to reinvent the security architecture.
The visit of Chhattisgarh, which shares border with Jharkhand, comes at a time when there is a growing concern in Delhi about Soren's unwillingness to send a clear message to security forces to go after the Naxals. The Jharkhand CM is believed to have received the rebels’ support in the run-up to the assembly elections and has since been soft on them.
During the meeting, Chidambaram will review the strategy against Maoists, assess the preparedness to provide backend support to security forces and improve coordination.
The centrally driven offensive will focus on the tri-junctions of the Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Maharashtra - hotbed of Left wing extremists. State forces will focus on areas within each state with the help of central troops.