The Union Home ministry may have approved an offensive against Maoists and the IAF set to open fire in self defence but Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee said this would not solve the problem.
"A political problem cannot be solved by deploying the army," Banerjee told private Bengali news channel Star Ananda.
"The Centre should talk to the Maoists to know what they want while Maoists should stop the politics of individual killing. It is also not right to kill policemen. Violence cannot bring any solution. I am for a peaceful solution to the problem," she said.
"The Maoists in Nepal have embraced democracy. The Maoists here should also be given the scope", she said.
Suggesting that intellectuals could also act as mediators between Maoists and government for talks, she said in reply to a question that "if Maoist leader Kishenji has trust in me, I will say let us find a solution."
Reiterating that Trinamool Congress was against the anti-Maoist operations in Lalgarh in West Midnapore district, Banerjee said the Centre did not talk to the party on the issue. "I told them you are not doing the right thing."
Told that the Centre was sending more forces to combat the Maoists, she alleged CPI-M was capturing areas with the help of the joint forces. "Why is the Centre aiding them?"
Alleging link between CPI-M and Maoists, Banerjee alleged the marxist party had taken their help to capture Garbeta and Keshpur areas in West Midnapore district.
Pointing out that CPI-M had sent its leader to talk to Maoists in Nepal, she said "is Maoism in Nepal and Bengal different? It is not clear to me."
Banerjee also said the agitation in Lalgarh was a movement by tribals. "It is not a movement by Maoists."
Asked about the arrest of PCPA leader Chhatradhar Mahato, Banerjee said she did not know what he had said or what he had been made to say. "But I heard that the Centre was against his arrest."
Alleging there was lack of development in rural areas in Bengal, she said there should be a 10 to 15-year comprehensive plan of action by the Centre to provide electricity, water and roads to villages. PTI