Even as Congress’ Ajit Jogi slammed the state government for inadequate security resulting in attack on party convoy, the Central Congress leadership restrained from turning the incident into full-fledged political war.
“Our hearts and minds are with the near and dear ones of those who have been killed or injured. While do not want to politicise the incident, but it required a detailed inquiry to establish the facts,” said Information and Broadcasting minister Manish Tewari.
Jogi had blamed Raman Singh government for the attack saying the state failed to sanitise the road through which the convoy was passing resulting in the brutal attack. The state government denied the claims and said the Congress leaders did not follow the security protocol.
However, Samajwadi party blamed both the Centre and the state government for the incident.
“The attack has proved failure of the intelligence apparatus of both Central and Chhattisgarh governments,” SP leader and UP minister Azam Khan said. On the other hand, Aam Aadmi Party leader Prashant Bhushan questioned the political will of the state and the central government to act against Maoism.
Within the ruling government there was a debate of the impact of the incident on development in naxal affected districts. Tribal Affairs Minister Kishore Chandra Deo termed it as a major “setback” for development in left wing extremism affected districts whereas Rural Development minister Jairam Ramesh disgreed.
“The incident shows that naxals have no faith in the democratic system. That does not mean developmental work will stop there,” Ramesh told reporters on Sunday.
“This is an attack on democracy and the Congress party,” he said, adding that special works under new IAP should be carried in 20-24 worst affected districts rather than all 82.
BJP’s Lal Krishan Advani, who had spoken to Prime Minister on Saturday night, said it was one of the most audacious attack and urged the Prime Minister to take all steps to check the growing naxal menace. He also asked all political parties to come together to fight the problem.
Terming the attack as “barbaric”, BJP president Rajnath Singh said it was time for parties to rise above their political differences and join hand to fight naxalism or any other terror.
BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said that those who back naxals in the name of human rights should ask themselves whether others have rights too. Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi sought “zero tolerance” policy toward naxal and terror violence.
CPIM’s Brinda Karat blamed the BJP ruled Chhattisgarh government for failing to provide adequate security for the Congress rally and said the incident showed the growing influence of naxals in the area.