"This is a serious matter. This is how the government is proceeding in its fight against Naxals. While one of its ministers (Mamata Banerjee) is speaking in Naxals' favour. Now the crown prince (Rahul Gandhi) of Congress is sharing dais with a suspected Maoist. Government appears divided on the issue. It is totally unacceptable...home minister should clarify the matter. He must come clean and make a statement," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javdekar told reporters outside Parliament.
Congress, on the other hand sought to downplay the issue, as spokesperson Manish Tiwari stated that the significance of Rahul Gandhi's visit to Niyamagiri hills was to send out a message to the tribals that their voices and concerns did not go unheard.
"By making this point forcefully and articulately that he is the advocate of their interests in Delhi and they can get justice in the scheme of things within the India Constitution.. is a very strong and very sensitive message to the people, who were otherwise feeling they do not have a place in the national mainstream," Tewari said.