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Chidambaram or Pranab may replace Patil

Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi | November 30, 2008 13:14 IST

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Congress sources have told that Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram or External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee will replace Shivraj Patil [Images], who resigned on Sunday, as home minister.

The announcement is likely to be made in the next couple of hours after the all-party meeting called to discuss the Mumbai terror attacks.

Congress sources said Chidambaram has experience in internal security. He is a lawyer and a man who can plan strategy and execute in time of crisis.

Mukherjee is politically savvy and can be expected to give nuanced responses to difficult political predicaments. He also has vast experience in government but the problem the Congress party has is that it does not have anyone to replace him in the external affairs ministry.

A Congress source said, "We understand that India has the sympathy of the people and governments all over world. Mukherjee can use it to our advantage and also strategise India's option to fight terrorism. But his present role is also equally important. While if Chidambaram become home minister, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] can very well manage the finance portfolio."

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