VIJAYAWADA: Asserting that Left Wing Extremists (LWE) are now confined to only two districts in Andhra Pradesh, State Home Minister Mekathoti Sucharitha on Sunday urged the Centre to support the development of backward and tribal areas.
The Maoists, whose numbers have now diminished to 50, are confined to Visakhapatnam and East Godavari she said, adding that the ultras were earlier active in five districts. She was speaking at a high-level meeting of Chief Ministers from Maoist-affected States. Chief Secretary Aditya Nath Das and Director General of Police Gautam Sawang also attended the meeting chaired by Home Minister Amit Shah. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, who was to attend the meeting, had cancelled his trip after spraining his leg.
The development of Andhra Pradesh has resulted in checking the Maoist menace. Referring to the reforms brought in by present State government, Sucharitha said the setting up of Village Secretariats ensured that welfare activities reached the remote tribal areas.
Attributing backwardness as a reason aiding Maoists, Sucharitha asserted that developing education and health sectors, and improving basic infrastructure facilities could curb the menace. She said the State government has been extending health and medical facilities to the downtrodden through Mana Badi Nadu-Nedu, Amma Vodi and also by operating health centres at Village Secretariats.
She urged the Centre to further improve 4G and road connectivity to remote tribal areas. She also sought the Centre’s clearance to take up road works in agency areas. “The number of Ekalavya schools should also be increased,” she said.