We want a dialogue between Naxalites and the government

Manish Kunjam , a former MLA and president of All India Adivasi Mahasabha, the tribal front of the CPI, is the only politician in Bastar who continues to organise Adivasis peacefully for their constitutional rights. Jyoti Punwani spoke to Kunjam about doing politics while facing police repression and Naxal violence:

After a long gap, Chhattisgarh recently witnessed two massiveAdivasirallies.What were your demands?

Chhattisgarh minister sends notice to Congress legislator

Raipur, Dec 17 (IANS) A senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) minister in Chhattisgarh has sent a legal notice to a Congress legislator after the latter alleged that he had tried to protect an accused in a murder case.

The notice was sent by Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Ramvichar Netam to Congress legislator T.S. Singhdev after a bitter war of words on the issue inside the assembly.

Netam has even threatened to initiate criminal proceedings if the latter fails to apologise within 15 days.

Chhattisgarh seeks help for rain-hit farmers

Raipur, Dec 15 (IANS) Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh Wednesday urged the central government to help thousands of paddy farmers who have huge losses due to unseasonal rains last week.

In a letter Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Raman Singh sought urgent assistance for the farmers whose crops stored in the open got submerged by rain water Dec 7-9.


Paddy-rich Chhattisgarh district to have 34 power plants

Power, and not paddy, may be the new identity of Janjgir-Champa, Chhattisgarh’s largest irrigated district.

The state government has inked memoranda of understanding with 34 companies over the past five years for setting up power projects in the district, located in the state’s north-east. If the proposals materialise, the highly fertile Janjgir-Champa will be the only district in the country to have such a large number of power plants

Centre asks Chhattisgarh for Rs 800 cr expense on paramilitary forces

The Union Government has asked the Chhattisgarh Government to pay the due of Rs 800 as against the reimbursement cost of the central paramilitary forces deployed in the state to combat the Naxalites.

The move of the Union Government had put the state authorities in a fix as managing a huge sum of Rs 800 crore was not an easy task. The state government had however started the exercise to get the due recovery exempted.

The ministry of home had deployed about a dozen battalions of central paramilitary forces in the Chhattisgarh-the worst Naxal-infested state in the country.

Why shouldn't we become Maoists, ask Chhattisgarh tribals

Jagdalpur (Chhattisgarh), Dec 16 (IANS) Many poverty-hit tribals in Chhattisgarh are asking why they shouldn't become Maoists and take up arms, pointing to the latest incident in which two civilians were branded rebels and shot dead by police.

The traumatised residents of the Koleng area of Bastar district are at a loss over the killings of their co-villagers by police early this week and say the two had simply gone to collect rations for others from a nearby forested area.

Power Grid to invest Rs 55.4 bn in projects

Power Grid Corp of India said on Tuesday its board had on Dec. 13 approved investing 55.4 billion rupees on five projects across the country.

These include an investment of 27.43 billion rupees to set up a transmission system in phase I of a generation project in Orissa with a commissioning schedule of 36 months from the date of investment approval.

Power Grid will also invest 17.19 billion rupees for setting up pooling stations for independent power producer generation projects at Raigarh and Raipur in Chhattisgarh state.

Chhattisgarh promises millions for insurgency-hit district

Raipur, Dec 15 (IANS) The Chhattisgarh government announced Wednesday it would pump in over Rs. 260 million of development funds in one of the worst Maoist-hit districts, Narayanpur, in Bastar region.

Making the announcement at a public function at district headquarters Narayanpur, Chief Minister Raman Singh said the investment will be mainly for constructions of roads and school buildings.

Singh stated at the gathering that his Bharatiya Janata Party government was working on several welfare schemes and infrastructure projects in insurgency-hit districts to improve people's life.