ibnlive » India

Nov 30, 2008 at 01:10pm IST

Home Minister Shivraj Patil resigns

New Delhi: After months of criticism over the country’s internal security situation, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil sent his resignation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday, Congress Spokesperson Manish Tiwari told CNN-IBN.

Patil offered to quit after Congress Working Committee (CWC) members expressed their dissatisfaction with the Home Ministry in the wake of Mumbai terror strikes, at a meeting held late on Saturday.

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Patil told the meeting that as the Home minister he "takes the responsibility and whatever the CWC decides, I am ready to do", party sources said.

Patil's remarks suggested that he was ready to step down came in the wake of criticism by several leaders including union ministers over the way the internal security situation was being handled at the Central level, the sources added.

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Sources say that CWC members came down heavily on Patil and Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh for their failure.

UPA chief Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are believed to have pulled up Patil for the monumental intelligence failure in Mumbai terror strike case.

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It is said that Patil's ministry failed to take cognisance of a serious input from intelligence about the impending attack long before terrorists struck Mumbai on Wednesday night, November 26.

HEADS WILL ROLL

Besides Patil, Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, who was also present at the meeting, came under attack on the terror strikes issue, CWC sources said.

The leaders who voiced criticism on the issue included union ministers P Chidambaram, Kamal Nath, Kapil Sibal and H R Bhardwaj, they said.

The refrain of these leaders at the meeting was that strong action is needed in the wake of the Mumbai terror strikes and accountability has to be ensured at the higher as well as lower levels.

This prompted Pranab Mukherjee to remark that since it was collective responsibility of the Cabinet, he would also like to take responsibility as the External Affairs Minister.

Maharashtra Chief Minister, however, chose to ignore the criticism and instead apprised the meeting of the steps taken by his government in the wake of terror strikes, they said.

The Home Minister as also National Security Adviser M K Narayanan came under attack at the CWC meeting called hours after the security operations against the terrorists was indication enough that the leadership was planning some strong steps.

(With inputs from PTI)

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