Development only key to uproot naxalism: Jaiswal

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Lucknow, June 3 (UNI) The Centre has stepped up its effort on development in the naxal-infested regions of the country in order to counter the menace, said Union Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal here today.

''Union home minister Shivraj Patil held a review meeting with all the ministries recently, to take the stock of the developmental programmes in the naxalite regions of Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh ,Orissa and Bihar,'' he said.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr Jaiswal said only development can uproot naxalism.

''Now a meeting at the Centre on the directive of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would be held every month to review the development progress in the naxal belt'', he said.

The Union minister said all the concerned states have also been asked to set up a special cordination committee to keep a close watch on the development of infrastructure including drinking water, power, roads, and even educational institutions in the naxal-infested areas.

He also denied that there was any increase in the number of naxal affected districts in the country in the past three years.

On being asked if, the Bundelkhand region of UP was the new home of naxals, the minister said nothing could be said at this moment as development lags in the drought-hit region and naxalism always reaches such places.

UNI MB PDM SV BD1933

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