Govt ready for talks if Maoists abjure violence: Chidambaram

Govt ready for talks if Maoists abjure violence: Chidambaram

New Delhi: Union home minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday offered an olive branch to Maoists saying that government will be willing to start dialogue process with them if they abjure violence.

“If the CPI (Maoist) will make a statement and call a halt to violence, Government would be willing to start a process through which the State Government concerned and the Central Government can hold talks with them on any issue that concerns them and the people they claim to represent," he said in a letter to former Lok Sabha Speaker Rabi Ray.

Chidambaram was replying to a statement made by Ray and some eminent persons on the Maoists menace recently.

“I sincerely will prevail upon the CPI(Maoist) to abjure violence," he said in the letter, copies of which were sent to justice Rajinder Sachar, prof Rajni Kothari, Kuldip Nayyar, Aruna Rai and KG Kannabiran.

He said the only hurdle to holding talks with the CPI (Maoist) is the violence that “stalks the areas in which they operate".

He drew attention of these eminent persons to the statements made by various Maoist leaders especially Muppala Laxman Rao (Ganapathy) and Mallojula Koteshwar Rao (Kishenji), justifying violence and armed struggle.

Chidambaram pointed out in his letter that in 2009 alone CPI (Maoist) caused 183 violent attacks on economic targets including railway tracks, telephone towers, power plants, mines, school buildings and panchayat bhavans.