Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said the Centre is ready for negotiations with the Maoists if the left wing ultras shun violence.
“We are ready for talks with the Maoists but they should reject the path of violence first. The talks must be held within the purview of the Indian constitution. Violence has no place in a healthy democracy”, the home minister said during an informal chat with newspersons here after holding a discussion with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on different issues including the Maoists menace.
Singh said he would like to appeal to the Left wing ultras to join the mainstream and help the government in building a more stronger nation. “We have a progressive government at the Centre under Narendra Modi and the Maoists must come forward to extend their contribution to build a strong nation”, he said.
Apart from holding a meeting with Patnaik in the state secretariat here, Singh who was on a day-long visit to Odisha to review the Maoists related developments also made a trip to Koraput district to make an on the spot assessment of the situation.
The tribal-dominated southern district is one of the worst Maoist hit areas in Odisha.
“I would like to congratulate the Odisha government and the state police for doing an excellent job so far as handling the Maoist menace is concerned. They are performing very well. I have assured the state government to provide maximum assistance to handle the Maoists problem”, the Home minister said.
Replying to a question on the repeated gun battles between the Maoists and security forces in Maoist hit areas, Singh said the security personnel had been forced to open fire out of compulsion. “They (the forces) open fire in self defence”, he observed.