Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called a meeting of the National Integration Council (NIC) on October 13 to build a consensus on the communal violence in Orissa and Karnataka, just four days before the opening of the next Parliament session.
However, the political squabbling around the Orissa violence seems to have become intense, with Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik asking Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil on Saturday not to “point fingers at the efforts of the state government.”
Patnaik's letter was in reply to Friday's harshly worded letter from Patil in response to Patnaik requests for more Central forces. Patil had said merely asking for more forces won't solve the problem for the state government.
But Patil, meanwhile, has stepped up pressure on the state government by asking Orissa governor Justice M.C. Bhandare for a report on the violence. Patil told a television channel on Saturday that the demand for imposing President's Rule in the state was getting stronger.
What's more, the Home Ministry on Saturday asked the security agencies for details of the violence. “We've been asked to put together all the incidents in Orissa since December last,” a senior official said.
Meanwhile, the preliminary notice sent to 141 NIC members informing the date did not mention the agenda for discussion. “But the Orissa and Karnataka developments are issues which should be discussed by the NIC. A political consensus against communalisation of politics has to be arrived at,” said Digvijay Singh, Congress general secretary.