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Cong supports urban Maoists: PM

Cong supports urban Maoists: PM

Jadgalpur: Describing Maoists as "monsters with evil mindset", Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday accused the Congress of backing "urban naxals" who, he said, were "remote-controlling" the Maoist insurgency in this region and ruining the lives of poor tribals.

The Congress hit back at Modi and accused him of indulging in his "trademark petty politics" and seeking to hide his "abject failure and weak-kneed" approach to fighting Naxalism. The party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also reminded Modi that the Congress lost over 25 of its leaders to Naxal attack in 2013.

Addressing his first election rally in insurgency-hit Bastar district in poll-bound Chhattisgarh, Modi also said the Congress was making "fun" of Adivasis. Bastar goes to vote on Monday as part of the first phase of the two-phase Assembly polls. Urban naxals is a term used to describe city-based supporters working in alleged front organisations of proscribed Maoist outfits.

Modi's comments came a day after four civilians and a CISF jawan were killed when suspected Naxals blew up a bus with an improvised explosive device (IED) in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district in a fresh wave of Maoist attacks.

On October 30, three police personnel and a cameraman of national broadcaster Doordarshan were killed in Dantewada district. Modi also said that voting for anyone apart from the BJP would be a "blot on the dreams of Bastar".

Going all out to denounce the Maoists, Modi said they were destroying schools and not allowing doctors to treat people. "Those who are giving guns in the hands of kids in place of the pen are actually monsters with evil mindset. They are destroying schools and not letting doctors perform their duty," the prime minister said. He also went on to allege that "urban naxals" were remote-controlling the Maoist insurgency in the region.

"The urban Maoists, who live in air-conditioned homes in the cities and whose children study abroad, remote control Adivasi children in Naxal-dominated areas," Modi said.

"I want to ask the Congress why it supports urban Maoists when the government takes action against them," he added.

He asked people to vote for the BJP and ensure that it wins all seats in Bastar, adding that "if anyone else wins, it will be a blot on Bastar's dreams".

"I don't know why Congress makes fun of Adivasis. Once I had gone for a rally in North-East India and wore a traditional Adivasi headgear but Congress leaders made fun of it. This was an insult to Adivasi culture," he said.

He said the BJP government in the state, led by chief minister Raman Singh, had ushered in a new era of development in Bastar while earlier governments did nothing for the region despite having funds.

He said that Naxalism needed to be stamped out to pave way for development, adding that the BJP wanted to strengthen Bastar and root out unemployment, poverty and hunger. "This is the reason I have come here. This is our responsibility because you have reposed that faith in us," he told the gathering.

The prime minister said he wanted to fulfil late Atal Bihari Vajpayee's dream of a prosperous Chhattisgarh and "will not rest" till he achieved it.

Speaking about his multiple visits to the region, Modi said, "I have never come empty-handed but have given you some scheme or development programme. We are working hard to eradicate unemployment, poverty and hunger from the region. Previously, there were resources but nothing happened."

Jatin Takkar

Jatin Takkar

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