Jharkhand Chief Minister Sibu Soren today denied that he had a soft corner for the Naxalites but emphasied the need to understand the circumstances that forced them to take to arms.
Soren, accompanied by the state deputy chief minister-cum- finance minister Raghuvar Das and civil supply minister Barkunwar Gargrai said the state government had offered to hold talks with Maoist groups and was waiting for their response.
However, talks would not be possible if they continued to indulge in blood-bath. "Shun violence and the governmnt will hold talks", he said when asked whether the state government was contemplating any initiative for a dialogue with the Maoists.
"We have already offered talks. We are waiting for a response from he ultra group and then can take initiative for talks", the chief minister said.
Referring to allegations about having soft corner for the rebels, particularly after he abstained from the meeting of chief ministers of naxal-affected states including Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal and Bihar held at Kolkata on February 9 over anti-Naxal Operation Green Hunt, Soren said he was not opposed to action against the Maoists but said that ''we should first understand them.''
''Who are they? What prompted them to choose the wrong path before taking any action against them,'' he said. Earlier, the chief minister inaugurated a power sub-station in Birsanagar and a multi-purpose town hall at Gora under Jamshedpur East assembly constituency.