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Mamata not soft on Maoists: Chidambaram

Home Minister P Chidambaram said Mamata Banerjee was not ‘soft’ on Maoists as being projected.

Written by Agencies | New Delhi | Published: February 19, 2010 5:04 pm

Coming out in support of Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata Banerjee,Home Minister P Chidambaram on Friday said she was not “soft” on Maoists as being projected and her views do not affect the government’s policies towards Naxals.

“She has not been soft on Maoists. Her argument is that Maoists and Marxists have been collaborators in the past. That is her argument. Why should I comment on her argument?” he said during an interaction with journalists at Indian Women’s Press Corps here.

He said Banerjee has made it clear that she has no truck with Maoists. “She condemns their violence and doesn’t support their burning of train tracks”.

Chidambaram said Banerjee’s views do not affect the three-pronged policy adopted by the Centre which is assisting the state governments in establishing civil administration,holding talks with Maoists if they give up violence and providing funds for development.

“On these three elements which are part of our policy,there is no dissent in the government,” he added.

Explaining his offer of talks to Maoists if they abjure violence,the Home Minister said he has not asked them to lay down arms or disband their organisation.

“I have said give up violence for 72 hours,give me 72 hours to consult everyone and respond to your giving up violence and we will find a way out,” he said.

On Jharkhand government’s decision to let go some women Maoist cadre in return for the release of a BDO kidnapped by Naxals,he said it is for the state authorities to decide what needs to be done to secure the release of the official.

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