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    Karunanidhi asks parties to close ranks to fight 'Maoist menace'

    Chennai (PTI): Amid reports of attempts by Maoists to establish bases in Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Tuesday asked political parties, including opposition AIADMK, to close ranks to fight the 'Maoist menace'. "During times of natural calamity like floods or earthquake, where people are affected, we all work unitedly to help them. Naxalism is a similar situation that calls for joint working from all the parties," he said in the State Assembly.

    Replying to a special call attention motion on the recent killing of a naxal in Kodaikanal by the Special Task Force (STF), moved by the Opposition AIADMK as well as DMK allies the Congress, PMK, CPI and CPI(M), Karunanidhi presented details of police action taken by successive governments. Claiming that more action has been taken during his regimes (including the 1996-2001 period), he said he was not in anyway undermining the efforts of the Opposition party in dealing with the Maoists. "I present these facts only to show that naxal-related activities have been found during the tenures of both DMK and AIAMDK," Karunanidhi said.

    The DMK leader also suggested finding the root cause behind "youth getting attracted to armed struggle" in naxal-infested areas and said if their grievances were redressed properly, they would never take up arms.

    "Do they lack education? If be so, what is the reason? Economic conditions? If that is the propelling factor, then we should take steps to improve the conditions," he said in his reply.


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