Latehar (Jharkhand): Union Minister Jairam Ramesh on Sunday suggested stepping up of political mobilization of people in remote areas to weaken Naxals in their strongholds.

"Political mobilisation is necessary. If political mobilisation is weak, naxals can become strong. Wherever the mobilisation is strong naxals are weak," the Union Rural Development minister said.

Ramesh, who is on a three-day visit of naxal-affected districts to monitor rural development works, advised political workers to spread all over the districts, even in the forest areas.

"Another element is that tribals should feel that they are a part of the development by implementing laws," he said.

Asking Jharkhand to utilise maximum funds in the demand- driven MGNREGA this fiscal, Ramesh said states like Jharkhand, Odisha and Bihar should utilise more funds.

Latehar and West Singhbhum districts have done a "reasonable job" in construction of 79,000 dug-wells under MGNREGA schemes, he said security operations against naxalism, sustained development in the rural areas could also weed out the left-wing extremists.

Referring to Saranda Action Plan in West Singhbhum and Saryu Action Plan in Latehar, Ramesh said, "People did not use to come up with their grievances. But now they are more vocal and opening up."

Later, Latehar Deputy Commissioner Aradhana Patnaik presented Saryu Area Development Action Plan to the minister.

Ramesh announced that funds would be released this week for building 5,000 houses under Indira Awas Yojana, 26 roads under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana and watershed programmes under the plan covering Bendi, Nawagarh and Tarwadi panchayats of the district.


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