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Naxalism took birth and germinated under Cong rule: Venkaiah Naidu

New Delhi: Naxalism was born and grew under the Congress regime, Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu said on Wednesday, questioning the opposition party’s policy towards the Left-wing rebels.

He said it was the lack of policy of the Congress to deal with Naxalism that led to a number of lives being lost during its rule. “What is the policy of the Congress party? Naxalism was born, grown during Congress regime (sic),” the information and broadcasting minister said.

The minister’s comments came after Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi who claimed that intelligence failure and the lack of coordination between the Centre and the states were the main reasons for the Naxal attack in which 25 CRPF personnel were killed in Sukma in Chhattisgarh on Tuesday.

Naidu said the Congress should explain whether it was sympathising with the Naxalites. “Are they condemning it (the attack) or they want to condemn the government?” he asked. The minister said everyone should come together and condemn the Maoist philosophy.

“They say political power comes through the barrel of the gun. But it is not so. Ballot is more powerful than bullet,” he said. Naidu said over 700 people were killed in Naxal attacks between 2004 and 2014 when the Congress was in power at the Centre.