A cabinet panel that met in New Delhi on Thursday to consider deploying the armed forces against the Maoists could not arrive at a consensus and is likely to meet again next week, an official said.
"No consensus was reached. The meeting was inconclusive," said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity, after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security chaired by Prime Manmohan Singh.
There have been sharp differences between the home ministry, which mooted the idea, and the defence ministry on the issue of deploying the armed forces on anti-Maoist operations.
According to sources, the home ministry had suggested a unified area command to be headed by the chief minister of the concerned state with a serving Indian Army major general as his advisor.
However, the army argued that a major general is too senior an officer to report to the chief minister in a such a hierarchy.
The army is also opposed to the idea of conducting surgical operations against the Maoists because it wants deployment in a larger area, the sources said.
The issue of using the army for de-mining the Maoist-infested areas is another bone of contention between the ministries as the army says it would have to carry out an area domination exercise before conducting such an operation.