New Delhi: In order to deal with the menace of naxalism, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday pushed for administrative reforms in order to ensure development in tribal areas, especially in the Central and Eastern India.

Ramesh, delivering Sardar Patel Memorial lecture, opined that the Integrated Action Plan (IAP) should target blocks rather than districts and sought expansion of the programme to another 18 districts.

Ramesh said, “The Centre has identified 60 naxal-affected districts across seven states to give special focus on development. About one and half dozen additional districts will be added to the list.”

Ramesh also praised Home Minister P Chidambaram’s unconditional offers to hold discussion with naxals.