Top Maoist leader Kishenji on Tuesday night said the Centre should take the initiative of declaring a ceasefire and left a phone number for Union Home Minister P Chidambaram to contact the red rebels.
"The Union Home Ministry should take the first initiative of declaring ceasefire and has to issue a written statement to the media. After examining it, we will fax our response to the prime minister and the Union home minister,"
Kishenji told PTI from an undisclosed location.
"Union Home Minister P Chidambaram can call us up on this number -- 9734695789 on February 25 (the day to be
observed as Remembrance Day by Maoists) at 5:00 pm in the evening and speak to us. We will respond to his call,"
Reacting to Chidambaram's appeal that Maoists should abjure violence and issue a statement that it was prepared for
talks, he said "it is unclear."
The underground leader said, "The home minister has appealed to us to abjure violence for 72 hours, but if the
central government is ready to co-operate with us, then we are ready to abjure violence for 72 days even."
Earlier in the day, on Kishenji's offer of conditional ceasefire, Chidambaram had said, "I would like no ifs, no buts and no conditions."