New Delhi, Mar 12: Reacting to criticism on the offensive carried out against the Naxals, government has said that it has the legitimate right to use as much force as necessary to regain control of areas dominated by the Maoists.
Home Minister P Chidambaram vowed that Maoists would be eliminated before the government completes its term.
"We are confident that before the term of UPA II ends, we will get rid of naxals and will have considerably strengthened our security to face any threat," he said addressing the India Today Conclave here.
Chidambaram described Maoists, who have presence in 200 districts of the country and virtually control 34, as 'graver problem" than jihadi terrorism.
"They (Maoists) have declared a war on the Indian state...They are anti-development. They do not want the poor to be emancipated or become economically free," Chidambaram said.
He said that civil right groups naively think that naxalites are pro-poor.
The Home Minister said that South Asia is duty bound to tackle terrorists activities as Pakistan and Afghanistan including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives are under serious Jihadi terrorism.
Asked to comment on the ceasefire agreement offered by Maoists, Chidambaram said, "Why aren"t the Maoists making a simple statement that we abjure violence?"