PM rejects Chidambaram's quit offer

PM rejects Chidambaram's quit offer

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram taking salute during the Valour Day function of the Central Reserve Police Force in New Delhi on Friday. PTI In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the Home minister sought  to quit after the massacre of 75 personnel from CRPF's 62nd Battalion and one Chhattisgarh policemen by Maoists in Dantewada on Tuesday.

“The Home Minister gave it (his resignation) in writing the day before yesterday. The Prime Minister rejected it,” said a PMO spokesman .
Earlier in the day, taking full responsibility for the attack, Chidambaram said the “buck stops at my desk.”

“I have been asked directly or indirectly where the buck stops for what happened in Dantewada. I have no hesitation saying the buck stops at my desk,” he said at a CRPF function here. The Home minister had used the “buck stops” phrase earlier to criticise West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

“I accept full responsibility for what happened in Dantewada. Immediately on my return from Chhattisgarh, I called on the Prime Minister and gave it in writing that I accept full responsibility for what happened and I think I will stop there.”
 “Let me not elaborate. I am proud of the CRPF”, he said..

While the Congress Party on Friday reiterated its faith and confidence in the Union Home Minister, the BJP also said it would not press for his resignation. The opposition party, however, said he should not turn his back on the crisis.

“We are not demanding Chidambaram’s resignation, his resignation would be a victory to the Maoists,” Rajiv Pratap Rudy said. “The Home Minister’s responsibility is to secure the nation, and he should not turn his back on the crisis,” he added.

Congress spokesman Manu Singhvi said that the Congress was in favour of a two-pronged approach to combat the Maoist menace. He said that the Centre would assist the State Government to carry out anti-Maoist operations as well as to restore civil administration and start developmental process like building schools, health centres, roads, providing water and electricity in the areas under Maoist influence.

Meanwhile, CRPF Special Director General (North) N K Tripathi said the force has hardened its resolve to fight the Naxalites. “We will not let this blood go waste. I pledge to carry forward the battle,”  Tripathi said at the force’s Valour Day event here.

Asked if the force was feeling demoralised after the Dantewada attack in which 75 CRPF personnel were wiped out in an ambush on April 6, he said, “There is no question of our morale being hit. As a matter of fact, our resolve to fight has hardened.” Tripathi said the force would take more time to understand the mistakes committed and the right strategy adopted by the Naxals.

The senior CRPF official said he does not agree with reports in some sections of the media claiming that lack of training was responsible for the massacre.

“The men were trained and were given all the weaponry available,” he said. Asked what kind of training was given to the particular company, Tripathi said, “All trainings, including jungle warfare training, were provided.”

Papa Rao  mastermind?

As security agencies hunted for Naxal leaders behind the Dantewada massacre, Papa Rao, a Maoist leader from Andhra Pradesh, is emerging as the alleged mastermind and a massive manhunt has been launched, reports PTI.

Rao has been engaged in armed activities in the region and a massive manhunt has been launched to nab him, official sources said here on Friday.

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