A day after West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee slammed home minister P Chidambaram's assessment of the law and order situation in the state as "far from an impartial overview", the latter on Thursday invited him for a meet in Delhi.
Chidambaram dispatched two letters addressing Bhattacharjee, as a reply to the chief minister's December 28 communication.
"Both letters have been faxed as well as sent by speed post," a home ministry statement said.
"The home minister has invited the chief minister of West Bengal to Delhi at his earliest convenience to discuss the subject and agree upon the way forward," the statement said.
Bhattacharjee, in a strongly-worded reply to Chidambaram's letter last week, had taken strong exception to use of the word 'harmad' (hired killers) in the communication while asking the Left Front government to disarm CPI(M) cadres.
"Your assessment of the situation in the state is surprising and is far from an impartial overview of the situation," he had said.
The chief minister had sarcastically described the home minister's letter sent on December 21 as 'secret' after he and the CPI-M took umbrage at the apparent leak of its contents before it could reach him. He said the letter was received on Monday.
Chidambaram's earlier letter had asked the state government to disarm CPI-M cadres. He had questioned the West Bengal government on its use of central forces in the state, saying the killing of activists of political parties point to a "virtual collapse" of law and order there.
Admitting that it was not a happy situation, Bhattacharjee had said, "I am trying to disarm and demobilise all armed groups engaged in violence in some pockets in the state."