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Chidambaram to vist Mumbai on Friday

Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi | December 04, 2008 11:58 IST

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Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram will visit Mumbai on Friday to get a first-hand account of the terror attacks, a Congress leader from Maharashtra told this correspondent.

Sources in the home ministry said since taking over the ministry, Chidambaram has been working with a "focus" on long- and short-term measures to tackle terrorism. On his first day in office, December 1, he stayed put in his North Block office till 10.30 pm.

A Congress leader close to him said, "Chidambram is considered an arrogant leader but here that will turn into an advantage because officers only listen to netas like him."

Congressmen, who are petrified about the people's fury against the lax internal security administration, are saying that their hopes lie with Chidambaram. They point to his superior English-speaking skills when compared to his predecessor Shivraj Patil [Images] as an advantage in an era of 24x7 television coverage, and say he will be "ruthless" towards inefficient people.

While the Congress party awaits the results of the ongoing assembly elections with anxiety, Chidambaram is its only hope to send out a soothing message to the people.

Chidambaram is expected to address a press conference on Friday where he will announce the first important steps the government will take to counter terrorism post-Mumbai terror attacks.

Along with Chidambaram, a new special secretary, internal security, has also taken charge at the home ministry.

Raman Srivastava, Kerala's [Images] director general of police, has taken over from M L Kumawat, who has been shifted to head the Border Security Force.

Srivastava had come under a cloud in the 1990s over the ISRO spy scandal, but was subsequently cleared of all charges. A native of Uttar Pradesh [Images], Srivastava has headed the Kerala police for more than three-and-a-half years.

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