Dismissing reports that he frowned at Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s decision to release five Naxalites to secure release of Malkangiri collector Vineel Krishna, home minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday said he “respected” the state’s “judgment” in handling the sensitive matter.
The home minister, however, spoke out in defence of the Orissa CM, saying it was not important “whether we agree or disagree”.
“The matter was handled by the state and it was a sensitive matter. They have handled it to the best of their ability," he said.
In backdrop of criticism that Orissa released hardcore Maoist cadre, he also made it a point to emphasise that the five people released by the state included a writer, three women and one driver of a car.
“The decision to release them was made as an appropriate response to a difficult situation and I respect that judgement,” he added.
But the home minister junked allegations levelled by the Kerala CM against him for not ordering a CBI probe into the state’s lotteries case.
To a query on CM Achuthanandan’s allegation that PMO and the home ministry lied on his communication to the Centre demanding a ban on lotteries, Chidambaram said both had replied to the letters, advising the chief minister about the notification to be issued to request a CBI probe.