The Congress on Friday dubbed as "very disappointing" the response by Maoists to government's offer for talks, telling them bluntly that no democratic government can hold talks with any organisation which does not shun violence.
Appealing to the Maoists to reconsider their position, the party exhorted them to listen to the government and come to the negotiating table after eschewing the path of violence.
"The reaction (of Maoists) is really very disappointing. The conditions that they have put for talks do not give indications towards any constructive solution," Party spokesperson Manish Tewari told reporters in New Delhi.
The Congress leader maintained that no democratic government would hold talks with any unlawful organisation that is not willing to shun the path of violence.
He was commenting on the response of the Maoist leadership over the government's offer for talks on the condition that they abjured violence.
Maoists said yesterday they were ready for talks with the Centre, provided some of their conditions were met, including withdrawal of paramilitary forces deployed in naxal-hit states. The Ultras that demanded the Centre drop its precondition that Naxals lay down arms and abjure violence.
When asked whether the Centre has any plans to engage Trinamool Congress chief Mamta Banerjee to negotiate with Maoists, Tewari said, "I reject the underlying assumption in the query."
The question was in an apparent reference to the CPI-M's charge that Banerjee was in league with Maoists.