Maoist leader rejects talks offer in an open letter to Mamata Banerjee

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Kolkata, Jan 25 (ANI): Maoist leader Mallajula Koteshwar Rao alias Kishenji on Monday rejected Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee's invitation to come to negotiation table.

In an open letter to Mamata Banerjee, which was released to a section of the media, Koteshwar Rao said it wouldn't be possible for Maoists to give up arms and sit for talks.

"The CPI (Maoist) will never agree to abandon arms before talks, be it with the Centre, the State Government or any political party. Maoists don't believe in parliamentary politics," Koteshwar Rao said in his letter.

On January 15, addressing a rally at Jhargram in West Midnapore District Mamata Banerjee urged the Maoist cadres to "shun violence and give up arms".

"I appeal to you with folded hands to shun violence and give up arms. I can even touch your feet. But for God's sake, start negotiations," she had said.

It was reported that Maoist leader in his letter asked Mamata Banerjee to take padayatra in the Lalgarh region without taking police support.

Earlier, Mamata Banerjee had announced to initiate a padayatra in the Maoist affected areas like Lalgarh, Belpahari, Binpur and Salboni.

However, Koteshwar Rao said his organisation is open to talks with Mamata Banerjee herself and listed some issues.

These include development of Jangal Mahal area, initiation to scrap special economic zones (SEZ), steps against the "terror unleashed by the Harmad (armed) gangs and ways to stop Trinamool-CPM clashes.

"We will hold talks if you discuss these issues. But you have to make it clear whether you want to talk as a Trinamool leader or a Central Government representative," Koteshwar Rao said in his letter. (ANI)

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