Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday urged the Maoists to shun violence and sit for talks to settle their demands.
"I appeal to the Maoists to leave arms and come for negotiations with the government. All their demands can be met through dialogues," the senior Congress leader told two election rallies at Barabazar and Santhaldihi, about 50 km from here.
Holding the ruling CPI(M) responsible for the rise of Maoists in West Bengal, Mukherjee said nothing was done for the development of tribal areas by the Left Front Government despite having central funds for the purpose.
"Maoists are successful in spreading their network in the tribal areas taking advantage of the poverty and deprivation of the Adivasis in Bengal. The Left Front government did not respond to the cry for justice by the poor tribals," he said.
The state government's performance in other areas also was miserable in all sectors including health, education, electricity, drinking water, agriculture and industrialisation, he said.
Purulia district with nine assembly seats goes to polls on May 7 and 10 in two phases.