Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday reviewed the country's internal security situation with senior party leaders but significantly Home Minister Shivraj Patil, who is under attack from various quarters over the handling of terrorism, was conspicuous by his absence.
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister AK Antony, Digvijay Singh, Margaret Alva and the Congress president's political secretary Ahmed Patel were present at the meeting, sources said.
The meeting discussed the Delhi blasts and the situation arising out of it. The internal security situation of the country came up for review, they said.
There was no explanation why Patil, whose ministry is directly in-charge of security of Delhi, was not present at the meeting.
Party spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi speculation over Patil saying review of situations at the government and party levels were part of governance and stories in the media were pure speculation.
Patil is under all-round attack over his ministry's handling of internal security. Some senior leaders of the Congress are also said to be critical of the minister, whose attention to sartorial preferences even during the night of Saturday blasts have been attacked.