Coming to the defence of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram over the issue of Maoist strikes in Chhattisgarh, Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh today squarely blamed Chief Minister Raman Singh for the disturbances in the state and said he was going "scot free".
"Why the Home Minister is unnecessarily taking the blame on himself? The responsibility and the accountability is totally with the Chief Minister", Singh told reporters.
Singh's statement was at variance with that of the Congress as party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi today said there is no criticism of any Chief Minister (in handling the issue). "We do not believe in politicising it."
Going hammer and tongs against the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister, Singh wondered as to why the Maoist strikes were occurring in Chhattisgarh alone and not in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra where the "area and terrain is the same".
Claiming that the media was "mixing" the responsibility of the state and the Centre, he said that law and order is a state subject and "even though the Union Government sends its paramilitary forces, deployment has to be done by the state government only".
The senior Congress leader was in the eye of a storm last month after he wrote an article in which he had targeted the Union Home Minister for his approach in tackling the Maoist issue, claiming that he was treating it as a law and order matter.
AICC had distanced itself from the party general secretary's views.
Two days after Naxals blew up a bus killing 35 people, Singh said that the Chief Minister had a lot of explaining to do about the role of the state police when the incidents took place and sought to know why the state intelligence did not warn the CRPF about the attack.
Asked whether the situation in Chhattisgarh was a 'fit case' for the Centre issuing direction to the state under Article 355 (Duty of the Union to protect States against external aggression and internal disturbance), he said it was the responsibility of the state government to protect its people from Naxalites.
On the issue of air support to the security forces in the fight against Maoists, he said that helicopters are being used for logistical purposes. "I do not think it is good to resort to strafing in these areas. The Rammohan Committee which went into the Dantewada massacre is also strongly opposed to it".