New Delhi: In the wake of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s statement on Friday that his government needs more time to examine the demands of the Maoists for the release of an Italian and a ruling party MLA, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday called upon Patnaik to take stock of the situation.

“I have spoken to Odisha Chief Minister on hostage crisis. There are two people in captivity so the state government is right in appointing interlocutors to talk to the Maoists,” Chidambaram’s move came a day after the deadline given by Maoist for resumption of talks ended.

"If you are suggesting that some action should be taken using security forces, is not a matter to be discussed in the public. And that is a decision the state government has to take having regard to all the facts and circumstances. They are the best judge of that," he added.

He also said that the only course available to Odisha government was to hold negotiations with the extremists for the safe release of the two hostages.

The Union Minister said: “The Chief Minister has acknowledged that his officers and Government of India officers are in constant touch with each other. They did not ask for any specific assistance. They of course have asked for sharing of any intelligence and as you know intelligence is being shared on daily basis and sometimes it has been shared more than once."

Earlier on Sunday, the rebels released Colangelo in a good will gesture. However, they have been insisting the government to fulfill 13 of their demands for the release of other hostages.

Asked whether it was not contrary to the central government's stand that it would talk to the extremists once they abjure violence by engaging with the Maoists now, Chidambaram said "It is not that we don't speak until they abjure violence. We have made them an offer for talks and we said please come for talks".

Govt for talks states on NCTC

When asked to react on the ongoing tussle between Union government and state governments over the contentious issue of National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC), the Home Minister reiterated that the government is ready to hold talks will all states.

Chidambaram said: "I am glad that there will be a debate and I sincerely hope that it will be a debate based on the Constitution, laws in force and the very healthy convention that has been built over the last 65 years.”

The government has convened a meeting of all Chief Ministers on April 16 to discuss the issue including internal security concerns.

“Chief Ministers conference on internal security is an annual affair,” he said when asked about the letter written by UPA's ally Chief Ministers to the Prime Minister asking for devoting time for NCTC issue at the conference.

“It was initially convened for February 15, 2012. The NCTC question came up in March. The February 15 meeting was postponed because of the assembly elections and the Parliament session to April 16,” the Union Minister remarked.

Earlier in the month, the amendments moved by the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha over the NCTC were defeated. Opposition parties have repeatedly said that the NCTC will infringe on the powers of the state governments.

Chidambaram further opined that the government is also considering the views of UPA allies on the NCTC including TMC chief Mamata Banerjee.

Chidambaram looks for Telangana solution

Meanwhile, he also appealed political parties to quickly make up their mind on the long pending demand of bifurcating Andhra Pradesh into Seemandhra and Telangana.

Certain sections of AFSPA need amendments

Meanwhile, Chidambaram has sought amendments in the controversial Armed Forced Special Powers Act (AFSPA). “The three amendments should be made to the AFSPA. That is pending with the Cabinet Committee on Security,” he said.

The Union Minister was replying to questions about the suggestion made by the United Nation Special Rapporteur on extra judicial summary or arbitrary executions Christof Heyns that AFSPA should be repealed as it was ‘symbol of excessive state power’ and ‘has no role to play in a democracy’.

The Home Minister said the report of the UN Rapporteur was both negative and positive. "The Rapporteur has praised the openness and willingness of the government of India to engage, shown also by the fact that there it was willing to host a mission dealing with the right to life, an area in which issues to be tackled are often complex in various countries," Chidambaram said.

The Home Minister said that in his understanding the UN Rapporteur had made some positive statements. "Yes, we take note of the view but that's not a novel view as there are a number of people who have expressed the same view and there are others who have a contrary view which is why the issue remains unresolved,” he said.

Chidambaram said: "The view of the MHA is after considering the Justice Jeevan Reddy report and all other reports, the view of the Ministry of Home Affairs is that three amendments should be made to the AFSPA."