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PM turns down PC offer to quit

Home Minister P. Chidambaram had accepted “full responsibility” for the Maoist killing of 76 security personnel in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district last Tuesday and offered to resign soon after, but PM Manmohan Singh turned him down, sources revealed on Friday. HT reports. Full coverage | Pics: Dantewada attack

india Updated: Apr 10, 2010 10:05 IST

Home Minister P. Chidambaram had accepted “full responsibility” for the Maoist killing of 76 security personnel in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district last Tuesday and offered to resign soon after, but Prime Minister Manmohan Singh turned him down, sources revealed on Friday.

Chidambaram’s move has won him the support of even the BJP and the Left, while the PM’s rejection of his resignation gives him a renewed mandate to pursue his anti-Maoist strategy, despite the setback.

“I have been asked directly and indirectly where the buck stops after the attack. The buck stops at my desk,” Chidam-baram said on Friday morning at the ‘Valour Day’ function of the Central Reserve Police Force. “I accept full responsibility for what happened in Dantewada”.

The home minister had made the same point in his letter sent to the Singh on Wednesday when he offered to step down.

A few months into office, Chidambaram has figured that development is impossible in areas where the Naxals were in control, since the Naxals blocked government schemes from reaching the very poor they claimed to represent.

The new government strategy involves security forces regaining their hold over these areas and handing them over to the civil administration for a quick dose of development initiatives.