Pressure appeared to be mounting on the Centre for effective intervention in Orissa in the wake of continuing violence against Christians by sangh parivar outfits and the demand for imposition of President's rule.
Home Minister Shivraj Patil, who was asked by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at yesterday's Cabinet meeting to come out with an apprisal of the situation, is understood to have sought a report from the Governor.
Patil spoke to Governor MC Bhandare to discuss the situation in the state, Home Ministry sources said.
The Centre is unhappy with the Naveen Patnaik government for the violence in the state against the Christian community and has said that despite half a dozen warnings, the Orissa government has not been able to control the situation.
The situation in Orissa acquired greater attention from the Centre after the embarrassment suffered by the Prime Minister when he met the leaders of the EU in France during the week when they raised the issue of attacks on Christians.
The Home Minister's telephonic talk with the governor came soon after he shot off a strongly-worded letter to the Chief Minister yesterday asking him to take effective measures to ensure security to the Christians.
The demand for "stringent action" in the state has been made by key UPA partner RJD, whose leader Lalu Prasad said advisories sent by the Home Ministry to Orissa has had no effect.
He wanted use of emergency provision of Article 355 of the Constitution that enables the Centre to issue a direction under which the state should be ruled in accordance with the Constitution.
With allies like RJD and some senior Congress ministers favouring strong action to rein in outfits like Bajrang Dal and VHP to check the violence, the government may be forced to consider the demand for President's rule, sources said.