Lalgarh: Union minister Jairam Ramesh on Saturday asked Maoists to engage in a dialogue, saying that the government was ready for it.
"We are ready for talks. Our doors are open. But the Maoists should shun violence. We urge them to sit for talks," Ramesh, the Union Rural Development minister, told a public meeting at Lalgarh, a Maoist hotbed in the past.
Stating that paramilitary forces were required to maintain peace, he said "violence cannot be the answer to violence."
Eighty-two districts in the country were declared as Maoist-affected of which three were Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore in West Bengal, he said.
With the help of the Centre and central paramilitary forces, the situation in Lalgarh in West Midnapore district has undergone a change.
"One can see what was Lalgarh earlier and what it is today," he said. Ramesh also said that special programmes were required for tribals who had faced injustice.