A senior leader of India's Maoist rebels told local media that his group is ready for peace talks with the government, but New Delhi says the rebels must first renounce violence.
Late Monday, a rebel military commander known as Kishenji proposed a cease-fire lasting 72 days if the Indian government halted an offensive against his group.
India's home minister (P. Chidambaram) responded, saying the government will not accept any pre-conditions for talks.
He also asked the militant group to submit a simple statement that says they will give up violence.
The home ministry has offered to hold talks with the rebels before, but has said a military campaign targeting the group will continue in the meantime.
Officials have called the Maoist insurgency the country's most serious internal security threat.
The rebels, called Naxalites, have spread across nearly one-third of the country -- mostly in central and eastern India -- since the insurgency started as a peasant uprising in 1967.
Officials say that in the past decade, more than 600 people have died annually in Maoist-linked violence. The rebels, who want to build a communist state, have been targeting security forces and infrastructure.
Gautam Gupta, VOA correspondent from Kolkata, has more on this.