Shivraj Patil quits

 

P. Chidambaram becomes Home Minister

Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil has resigned, owing moral responsibility for terror attacks in Mumbai and Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram has been given the charge to head the home ministry. PM takes over the finance portfolio.
Under fire from within his party and ruling allies for his inept handling of the security situation in the country, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil resigned on Sunday, owning the moral responsibility for terror attacks in Mumbai.

Patil has submitted his resignation to Prime Minister  Manmohan Singh, highly placed government sources said. The resignation is likely to be accepted and more resignations of top officials responsible for country’s security and intelligence gathering cannot be ruled out, they said.

Patil’s resignation has also put a question mark on the continuation of Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, who is also under intense party pressure to step down.

Prime Minister Singh was reportedly unhappy with Patil’s performance in the wake of repeated terror attacks in different parts of the country.

Beleagured Patil faced severe criticism at the Congress Working Committee meeting on Saturday night, and party president Sonia Gandhi’s disapproval of his handling of the ministry sealed his fate, it is learnt.

Sonia pulled up Patil in the CWC meeting and wanted to know the reasons of intelligence failure that led to a serious situation in Mumbai, a senior party leader unwilling to be named said.

Leaders who spoke at the CWC meet pointed out that the party could have to suffer heavily in the ongoing assembly elections in six states due to the government’s failure to check the increasing incidents of terrorism.

Patil’s departure would lead to a overhaul in the team responsible for country’s security.

P Chidambaram appointed Home Minister

Finance Minister P Chidambaram was today appointed Home Minister after incumbent Shivraj V Patil resigned owing moral responsibility for the Mumbai terror attacks, the worst the country had seen.

63-year-old Chidambaram, who has had a stint as Minister of Internal Security under the late Rajiv Gandhi in late 1980s, was shifted to the Home Ministry after amidst demands for the ouster of Patil, who had come under severe attack for his handling of internal security matters.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, himself an economist of repute, will hold the Finance portfolio at a time when the country is suffering from the ripple effects of the global recession. Singh had held the Finance portfolio for five years under the late P.V.Narasimha Rao.

A Rashtrapati Bhawan communique announced the appointment of Chidambaram as Home Minister after acceptance of Patil’s resignation. It said the Prime Minister will hold the additional charge of Finance.

Indications that Chidambaram would be given the new responsibility came when he was called as a special invitee to the Congress Working Committee (CWC) last night and he met the Prime Minister this morning to discuss the situation arising out of the Mumbai terror attacks.

After recommending Patil’s resignation to President Pratibha Patil, who is away in Indonesia, the Prime Minister spoke to Chidambaram formally conveying the decision to give him the new assignment.

The appointment also came hours before the start of the all-party meeting convened by the Prime Minister to discuss the Mumbai attacks and evolve a consensus on how to combat terror.

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