Vijayawada: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said that the country is facing serious challenges from left-wing extremism which needs to be countered effectively and collectively along with the states.
Inaugurating the 26th meeting of the Southern Zonal Council here, he said coastal security in the southern states needs to be strengthened.
“Left wing extremism poses a serious challenge and it needs to be countered effectively and collectively with the states,” he said.
He noted that the forum of zonal council is one of the significant means to achieve the goal of cooperative federalism which holds the key to the growth and progress of the country.
He said the present government attached the utmost importance to strengthening the institutions of zonal councils and the inter-state council. “These institutions have immense potential to resolve a slew of nagging problems by active cooperation between centre and states and among the states through healthy discussions,” he said.
The minister told the participants that the meetings of all the zonal councils were held in this calendar year. The government also reconstituted the inter-state council recently, which was pending for a long time and its meeting will also be convened soon.
Expressing condolences to the families of the victims of floods in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, Singh assured that the centre will continue to do everything possible to ameliorate the sufferings of the people.
The Southern Zonal Council comprises Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Puducherry.
The meeting reviewed the progress of the implementation of the recommendations made at the previous meeting held in Bangalore in 2012. The council later took up other issues like coastal security, peninsular region industrial corridor, introduction of peninsular tourism trains in the region, coordinated and uniform approach in granting industrial incentives, finalisation of inter-state reciprocal transport agreement and curbing use of unacceptable levels of pesticides and ripening agents in fruits and vegetables.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, Lt Governor of Puducherry Lt General (retired) A.K. Singh and ministers and senior officials from other states attended the meeting.

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