Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis on Monday said youth from the Naxalism-affected Gadchiroli district in Vidarbha are not joining the outlawed movement anymore and the new recruits are brought from Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
Speaking in the Maharashtra Assembly, Fadnavis, who is also the state home minister, said his stand remains the same as was of former home minister R R Patil, who acted tough against the Left Wing Extremism.
Today, the youth of Gadchiroli are not joining the Naxal dalams. They have to bring recruits from Chhattisgarh and Odisha, Fadnavis said.
He was replying to queries raised by opposition members over Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA Dharamrao Atram getting threats from Naxalites demanding stopping of the Surjagarh mining project in Gadchiroli district.
Leader of Opposition in the Assembly and NCP MLA Ajit Pawar demanded that Atram’s security be enhanced in view of the threat.
NCP leader Dilip Walse Patil said Naxalites have started activities to stop the mining project and steps should be taken to ensure nothing of that sort happens. He said the project gives employment to over 4,000 people.
However, Congress MLA Nana Patole took a contrary stand. He said the Naxal movement was gaining strength due to the Surjagarh mining project.
Don’t take this lightly. I want to keep it on record. The iron content in the ore is 65 per cent. The deposit could last for 300 years, Patole said.
In response to the concerns raised by the opposition, Fadnavis said the Surjagarh project is such that it can change the face of Gadchiroli district.
People from the Naxal movement are misleading locals by saying that Surjagarh deity will be impacted. The project is far away from Surjagarh, Fadnavis said.
The mining at the site began five years ago and the first phase of the steel plant at Konsari will start in June. With the initial success, the company (engaged in mining) has announced it will further invest Rs 20,000 crore in the project which could change the face of the district, he said.
Even people are supporting them since locals are being employed, he added.
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