In the wake of heightened Maoist activity in Chhattisgarh during the last month, the government is waking up to people's issues and lack of development in the area. In an exclusive interview with HT, chief minister Raman Singh exhorts the ultras to opt for peace and lists the government strategy to counter violence.
Maoists justify their counter-offensive campaign as a reaction to alleged repressive policies of the Centre and your government.
Violence cannot bring any social change or do any good to society or the people. How can they justify any violence? Only democratically accepted approach is acceptable.
Maoist attacks are getting violent and aggressive. Any need for change in strategy now?
All top Maoists leaders have their common addresses in Chhattisgarh and they are now into mobile warfare (inter-state movement). The strategy is to take control of the area influenced and occupied by them. As we move further into their strongholds it results into violent clashes. Maoists have modern weapons. We need to strengthen our resources.
The tribals and their culture are worst hit in the war.
Without peace it is not easy to improve the life of tribals and safeguard their culture. The state is trying its best.
Do your support deployment of army to control the menace?
No. And the Maoists are wrong in their perception on the presence of the army in Bastar. Army is here only for training.
Development and pro-poor welfare schemes in red zone are not getting adequate attention.
We are moving ahead on the development front, like constructing roads, schools and tribal hostels. But violence emerges as a big obstacle. We ensured that the public distribution system was a success. Our attention is to pre-empt corruption.