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P. Chidambaram V/s Digvijay Singh

If P. Chidambaram represents one end of the spectrum in Congress party, Digvijay Singh personifies the other. The former Madhya Pradesh chief minister joins issue with his party colleague in the Economic Times:

I have known P Chidambaram since 1985 when we both were elected to Parliament. He is extremely intelligent, articulate, committed and a sincere politician, but extremely rigid once he makes up his mind. I have been a victim of his intellectual arrogance many times, but we still are good friends.

In this case, I have differed with his strategy that does not take into consideration the people living in the affected area who ultimately matter. He is treating it purely as a law and order problem without taking into consideration the issues that affect the tribals. When I raised these issues with him, he said that it was not his responsibility.

I strongly believe in the collective responsibility of the Cabinet, and as home minister, it is his responsibility to take a holistic view of the issue and put it up to the Cabinet rather than opt for a narrow sectarian view. The home minister is also a member of the core group.

As far as law and order is concerned, the buck stops with the chief minster, not with the home minister. The Centre provides central forces at the request of the state government and their deployment is the responsibility of the state government. In this incident, where was the state police? I believe it was represented only by a head constable. Why is the home minister taking the flak when it is the chief minister who should be answering the questions?

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Of course, the AICC general secretary says these are his personal views.

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