Ramesh wants Maoists to drop arms and hold talks with govt

Jaipur: Union Rural Development minister Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday said that the government would want to hold talks with Naxals, if they drop arms and adopt a democratic ideology.

Speaking at a function in Bassi town near here, Ramesh said that the governments' doors for talks with Naxals were open, provided they have faith in the country's constitution and democratic system.

He said that 82 districts across nine states of the country were affected by Naxalism.

The minister was speaking after unveiling statues of paramilitary forces Jawans Ashok Verma and Kailash Meena in Banskho and Dheengad Ka Baas areas, in the Bassi town, respectively.

He said that the government would bring new land acquisition law soon to benefit the country's farmers.

Chief minister Ashok Gehlot also highlighted initiatives of the state government for the welfare of the families of martyrs and ex-servicemen.

Gehlot said that the Kargil package for martyrs was unparallelled and has benefited their families immensely.

Ramesh praised chief minister's rural BPL housing scheme as 'ideal model' and said that the scheme has considerably benefited people.

Tribal leader and MP Kirori Meena said that he would welcome government's "pro-farmer" land acquisition policy in the Parliament.