Patil will not resign: SinghviSeptember 15th, 2008 - 7:02 pm ICT by ANI
New Delhi, Sept.15 (ANI): Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil has not been asked to resign nor will he be asked to submit his resignation, said Congress party spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Monday.
He was responding to calls by the opposition for Patil to resign in the wake of saturday’’s serial bomb blasts in the national capital that claimed about 30 lives and maimed over 150.
On Monday, there were rumors circulating in the capital and in the media that Patil may be asked to submit his resignation in the wake of the tardy investigations and poor intelligence output related to the series of blasts that have been taking place across the country.
Since May this year, about 180 people have died in such explosions in Bangalore, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and New Delhi, and it is the oopsoitions” view that the government is clueless about the strategy to be adopted to deal with such attacks.
Addressing a press conference in the capital, Singhvi said that the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and its allies are one on the issue of terrorism and were taking all steps to neutralise the menace.
The rumors regarding Patil’’s future gained credence in the wake of Congress President Sonia Gandhi reviewing the country’’s internal security situation with senior party leaders. Significantly, Patil was conspicuous by his absence.
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister A K Antony, and senior party leaders Digvijay Singh, Margaret Alva, besides Gandhi’’s political secretary Ahmed Patel were present at the meeting, sources said.
The meeting discussed the Delhi blasts and the situation arising out of it. The internal security situation of the country came up for review, they said.
There was no explanation why Patil, whose ministry is directly in-charge of security of Delhi, was not present at the meeting.
Patil is under all-round attack over his ministry’’s handling of internal security. Some senior leaders of the Congress are also said to be critical of the minister, whose attention to sartorial preferences even during the night of Saturday blasts have been attacked.
RJD chief and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, who met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Congress president on Monday is said to have discussed the situation in the wake of serial Delhi blasts. However, he did not not take Patil’’s name directly.
“A special Cabinet meeting should be called to discuss threadbare issues arising out of the blasts in Delhi,” he told reporters adding that the Prime Minister had assured him that he would call a meeting in a couple of days.
He also said Sonia Gandhi should also call an all-party meeting to debate the issue of terrorism.
Prasad blamed intelligence failure for the Delhi blasts, saying inputs from the IB are always “vague”.
Asked about Patil’’s statements after every blasts, the Railway Minister said “do I contradict whatever you say”.
He demanded the constitution of a special task force to deal with terrorism-related cases.
The broadside against Patil comes even as the national capital is playing host to a two-day international seminar on terrorism.
Indian officials are likely to exchange notes on the issue and militancy with counterparts from over a dozen countries, including Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Patil inaugurated the event that will include presentations on terrorism in South Asia and its neighbourhood and on extremism and insurgency in South East Asia.
A panel discussion on the Indian experience in counter-terrorism policing will be held on the second day of the meet.
National Security Adviser (NSA) M K Narayanan will deliver the keynote address at the seminar organised by the Asia-Pacific chapter of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).
India presently chairs the Asia Pacific World Regional Office of the IACP.
Apart from the IACP president Ronald C Ruecker, the meet will be attended by foreign delegates from 13 countries in the Asia Pacific region, an official release said.
IACP is the world’’s largest organisation of police officials with a membership of around 20,000 spread across over 90 countries. (ANI)
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