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Congress rubbishes demand for Patil's resignation

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | September 15, 2008 20:21 IST

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi ruled out the resignation of Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil [Images] from the Union Council of Ministers for not being able to handle the situation in a better manner.

Patil stayed away from high level meeting called by Sonia Gandhi [Images] at her residence on Monday morning . He was attending a seminar at Vigyan Bhavan which led to speculation that since issues relating to his ministry were discussed at a meeting where he was not present, Patil may be replaced. Amongst those who attended the meeting included Pranab Mukheree, Digvijay Singh, Margret Alva and A K Antony.

"There is no question of  Shivraj Patil resigning and the opposition parties particularly the BJP should stop making these jingoistic demands," Singhvi said.

Singhvi took on Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi [Images], asking him not to mislead the country and explain why his bill on the lines of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act was not passed by his own government and how was he asking for stringent law to deal with the terrorist crimes.

"How many such times the resignation of L K Advani [Images] (Home Minister during the National Democratic Alliance regime) was demanded and the same always got rejected by his party," Singhvi said retorting that media was speculative and there were no demands from within the United Progressive Alliance for his removal.

Singhvi's remarks came in the backdrop of an indirect attack on the handling of Home Ministry by Railway Minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad who apparently expressed his displeasure over the situation and demand by Opposition parties for his removal.

Strongly advocating the need for a federal agency for investigating terrorism cases, the Congress spokesperson said, "a central agency is something which is seriously needed." Noting that the government has a "zero-tolerance" policy towards terrorism, Singhvi said the government needs the "full support" of state governments and parties to get it enacted.

Additional Reportage: PTI

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