Deshmukh, R.R. Patil offer to quit after terror attack (Second Lead)

December 1st, 2008 - 2:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Shivraj PatilMumbai, Dec 1 (IANS) Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil Monday offered to resign in the face of scathing criticism of their response to the Mumbai terror carnage, which left at least 183 dead.Deshmukh told reporters at a press conference here that he had offered to resign following the Mumbai terror attacks but the Congress Working Committee (CWC) was yet to accept his resignation.

“I accept moral responsibility for the terror attacks and have offered to resign. It is up to the CWC to decide whether to accept my resignation,” he said.

Deshmukh added that he had accepted Patil’s resignation and would be forwarding it to Governor S.M. Krishna.

“Patil has resigned. His resignation letter is with me and I will forward it to the governor,” he said.

“Patil tendered his resignation to the chief minister in the morning owning up responsibility for the Mumbai attack,” Patil’s aide told IANS.

Chief of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and union minister Sharad Pawar had earlier Monday said he had requested Deshmukh to accept Patil’s resignation.

“Today he (Patil) communicated his resignation to the chief minister. I requested (Deshmukh) to accept the resignation,” Pawar told reporters here.

Patil, who is also the state home minister, is a senior leader of Pawar’s NCP - a coalition ally of the Congress led government in Maharashtra.

Pawar said Patil had offered to step down soon after the attack Wednesday but held back after his request.

“After such a serious problem in Mumbai everybody was shocked…I requested him to let the (anti-terror) operation continue,” he said.

Patil had drawn flak for his remark that “small incidents like this do happen in big cities”, a reference to the Mumbai terror attack that began Wednesday and went on till Saturday. He had been speaking to reporters Saturday, when the operation to flush out terrorists was still on at the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower hotel.

Reacting to Patil’s resignation, BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “The Congress picking up some vulnerable faces like Shivraj Patil, R.R Patil or Vilasrao Deshmukh to curb public anger would be of no use. The government should take tough measures as it is the time for action.”

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