The Union government will provide National Security Guard umbrella to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu who escaped an assassination attempt on Wednesday.
The outlawed Naxalite group People's War is suspected to have been behind the landmine attack. Union Minister of State Swami Chinmayanand was sure the PW, which has also been listed as a terrorist outfit under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, was behind the attack.
"We initially thought that international terrorist organisations or the ISI was behind the attack. But now it has become clear that People's War carried out the attack," he added.
After meeting Naidu, Chinmayanand met state Information Technology Minister B
Gopalakrishna Reddy, who was also injured in the blast.
He said it was the first time the Naxalites had targeted a chief minister.
Chinmayanand added his ministry was ready to offer any assistance to tone up the chief minister's security. Naidu has been on the hit-list of the PW for several years now.
A couple of years ago, there was a move to provide NSG cover to Naidu but he declined the offer saying it would restrict his accessibility and free movement within the state.
Chinmayanand expressed concern over the growing activities of the Naxalites in the state and assured Naidu that the Centre was ready to provide all assistance to the state government in dealing with the menace.
Bharatiya Janata Party chief M Venkaiah Naidu, who also met Naidu, said described the attack as a 'dastardly act'.
"They (Naxalites) have killed thousands of innocent people. It is time they introspect. They are not going to achieve power through the barrel of a gun," he said. "Violence has no place in a democracy."
"Chandrababu Naidu is an important ally for us. He always stood by us. He is the development-oriented chief minister and hence there is universal condemnation of the attack," the BJP chief said.