PC renews offer for peace talks with Maoists

New Delhi: Home Minister P Chidambaram today renewed the offer for peace talks with Maoists if they abjure violence during the period of the talks. "I make the offer once again. Government is willing to talk to the CPI Maoists provided they abjure violence during the period of the talks," Chidambaram said in the Lok Sabha.

He was replying to the discussion on the Demands for Grants of the Ministry of Home Affairs. Chidambaram said the government had set more tough conditions for talks with North-East rebels which included surrender of arms and return of the cadre to the barracks.

The Minister also strongly disapproved the "many" civil society organisations who had "completely misunderstood their (Maoists) goals and objectives. Some members call them misguided. They are not misguided. They are guided by their own objectives. We are misleading ourselves by misreading their objectives," Chidambaram said.

BJD member Pinaki Misra had charged the government with being confused in its response to the threat posed by Maoists. Participating in the discussion, Misra had said while Prime Minister Manmohan Singh termed Left Wing Extremism as the gravest threat to internal security, some members of the National Advisory Council (NAC) had called Maoists "misguided youth who have to be dealt with a soft hand."

Chidambaram said the Maoists were very clear about their objectives to overthrow Parliamentary democracy through an armed rebellion and seize power through the barrel of the gun. "They (Maoists) are not unclear as we are unclear about them… They know their goals and they know their objectives. We are the ones who are misunderstanding their goals and objectives," he said.