Opposition parties have demanded the resignation of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who also holds the home ministry portfolio, over the Naxal attack in Gadchiroli on Wednesday.
Condemning the blast, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said that Mr Fadnavis should step down immediately. “The chief minister should resign from his post if he has any conscience. But that is not going to happen. On this backdrop, there is no option but to express grief over the soldiers’ death. Naxal activities have become a common thing in Maharashtra due to the ruling party’s negligence towards maintaining law and order in Naxal-affected areas,” said Mr Pawar.
State Congress chief Ashok Chavan said that the CM had lost the moral right to continue in his post due to the Naxal attack. “These attacks are the result of the BJP government’s soft stand towards Naxal and terror activities,” he said, while demanding that the state government provide a compensation of `50 lakh to the families of the deceased jawans.
Expressing anguish over the Naxal attack, the Shiv Sena said that the incident seemed to be a ‘threat’ to democracy. Sena spokesperson Neelam Gorhe pointed out that the maximum voter turnout was recorded in the Gadchiroli-Chimur constituency in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections. “The attack looks like a threat to democracy. It is sad to see such a dastardly attack taking place on the foundation day of Maharashtra,” she said.
Meanwhile, the CM vowed that the state government would deal more sternly with the Naxal menace.
“Anguished to know that our 16 police personnel from Gadchiroli C-60 force got martyred in a cowardly attack by the Naxals Wednesday. My thoughts and prayers are with the martyrs’ families. I am in touch with the DGP and the Gadchiroli SP. I strongly condemn this attack and we will fight this menace with even stronger efforts,” Mr Fadnavis said.
State NCP chief Jayant Patil said that the Naxals deliberately struck on the state’s foundation day as they wanted to “demoralise” people. “We will not allow this attempt to demoralise the state by deliberately carrying out the attack on Maharashtra Day,” he tweeted.
The Naxal blasts only go to show the state government’s inability to maintain law and order during the LS elections. The incompetence of the government has once again been proved, said Dhananjay Munde