Maoist leader Kishenji said on Wednesday that his outfit was ready for talks with the Centre and demanded the release of his close aide Venkataswar Reddy, who was arrested in Kolkata.
Demanding immediate and unconditional release of Reddy alias Telegu Dipak along and all other arrested Maoist leaders he said, "We are ready for talks with the government which has not responded so far." Dipak was remanded in police custody for 14 days by a city court on Wednesday.
Claiming that Union Home Minister P Chidambaram was not interested in holding talks, Kishenji said both sides should sit for dialogue while ensuring that there was no state-sponsored terrorism and revenge tactics.
"On the date proposed for talks, the joint forces shot dead People's Committee against Police Atrocities president Lalmohan Tudu. It proves that Chidambaram is not keen on discussions with us. His proposals for talks are all eyewash," he claimed.
Tudu was shot dead near Kantapahari in West Midnapore district on February 26 in an alleged encounter with the joint forces
Chidambaram had earlier given a fax number of the Union Home ministry for Kishenji to make his offer of talks, with the stipulation that there should be "no ifs, buts and preconditions".
Kishenji had responded by sharing a mobile number and saying he would wait for a phone call.
"There has been no response from the government to the number we gave to Union Home Minster for talks so far. There is no phone call from them. This proves once again that Chidambaram is not interested in talks," Kishenji alleged.
The Maoists would communicate to the media by fax if it received a 'positive response' from the government, he said.