New Delhi: Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Friday sought earnest implementation of rural development programmes to defeat left-wing extremism and asked the Centre and state governments to make efforts in this direction.

Addressing an All India Mahila Congress function here, Gandhi said many districts, which have predominant tribal population, were infested with Maoists and insurgents.

"We can defeat left-wing extremism and insurgency if we implement rural development programmes. The Centre and state governments should do their fundamental and Constitutional duty in helping tribals with full earnest.

"If we do it, we will be able to bring those people who are in the culture of violence to the democratic mainstream," Gandhi said.

During her speech, she said the party workers should take the good work of the UPA to people and educate them about the programmes initiated by the government for welfare of the people.