Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy has urged the Centre to improve inter-State network and communication facilities in areas of the State that witnessed naxal activities.
Speaking at the Chief Ministers’ conference on internal security convened by the Prime Minister in New Delhi on Monday, Dr. Reddy said the traditional causes championed by naxalites (land issues) were now replaced by new issues such as globalisation, establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs), displacement of population, etc.
Accordingly, their appeal had come down in rural areas except where there was industrial activity (such as bauxite mining, construction of major irrigation projects and displacement of people). The strategy of the State was successful in reducing the Maoist aggression in Andhra Pradesh in spite of the fact that they were quite active across the State borders.
Dr. Reddy said his government was now engaged in consolidation of the success against naxalites by stepping up administrative and welfare works in the formerly affected areas. The Centre should extend its help in developing proper infrastructure in interior areas. “It is a well-known fact that the main strength of Maoists is the inaccessible terrain,” he said.
Water, power projects
He said his government took up large number of irrigation and power projects in interior areas and a lot of mining activity was in the offing. “Maoists find such activity as ideal pastures for improving their network and hence, it is expedient that the Centre take up construction of inter-State communication network,” he said.
Explaining that two major security concerns for the State were Left wing extremism and Lashkar-e-Taiba-related terrorism, he said the State had successfully handled the situation. An anti-terrorist commando organisation — “OCTOPUS” (Organisation for Counter Terrorism and Operations), on the lines of National Security Guards (NSG), had been set up in the State.
Earlier, Dr. Reddy had a breakfast meeting with the Prime Minister where he took up various State issues. He made a courtesy call on Congress president Sonia Gandhi.