Home Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday said the Dantewada massacre was a "wake up call" for the country and asked for a collective resolve to defeat the Maoists, whose aim was to seize political power.
"Let us have no illusions about what they (Naxals) want. It is seizure of political power. The People's Liberation Guerrilla Army will be converted into People's Liberation Army," said Chidambaram replying to a daylong debate in the Lok Sabha, which saw Opposition targeting the Congress-led coalition over "division" within itself on tackling the issue.
"Naxals call this war. They call us enemies. They call this hallowed hall (Parliament) a pigsty," he said.
Dismissing reports that the 76 slain personnel of the CRPF were caught napping by the Naxals, the minister said they died fighting, having killed eight Maoists.
"If this tragedy is not a wake up call, then nothing can wake up this country and this Parliament," he said.
Turning emotional, the Home Minister said in a choked voice that he had resigned owning moral responsibility in the wake of the massacre, but Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi had rejected it reposing confidence in him.
"I will continue leadership to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the paramilitary forces," declared Chidambaram, saying the tragedy should "make us more determined, resolute and fearless" in dealing with the adversary.
Noting that the report of the one-man inquiry into the Naxal attack would be available to the government by April 24 or 25, he said, "we will draw conclusions and lessons" from it.
He also said that the Centre would give Rs 35 lakh to each of the bereaved family of the CRPF men and a job to a member. The process would be completed by the month-end. This, he said, would be in addition to the compensation provided by the state government, which could range from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 15 lakh.
In Rajya Sabha too, daylong discussions was held on the issue amid frequent adjournments.