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Burden of governance in Naxal-hit districts with states

New Delhi: Terming Left-wing extremism as the "most violent movement" in India, Home Minister P Chidambaram today said the burden of governance in the Naxal-hit districts must rest with the states.

"The burden of governance cannot be shifted from the state governments to the central government. In the ultimate analysis, the responsibility of governance in the Left-wing extremism affected districts must rest with the states," he told a national workshop attended by collectors of 60-Maoist hit districts here.

The central government "does not have that much human resources" and can only provide help, he said.

He said the battle in the affected districts was not for maintaining law and order but winning the "minds and hearts" of the people there.

Noting that the fight against Naxalism cannot be won unless villagers are on the side of the authorities, the Home Minister said, "The villagers are not yet on our side or at least not all villagers are on our side because of trust deficit, governance deficit and development deficit".

He said the responsibility for winning hearts and minds of villagers and winning them on "our side" must remain and will always remain the responsibility of state government.

"We will help in every way but ultimately the state government must take ownership for what they do in the Naxal-hit districts," Chidambaram said.

The workshop was on the theme of appropriate development strategy for effective implementation of rural development schemes in Maoist-affected districts under Integrated Action Plan (IAP).

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