Special meeting of Union Cabinet tomorrow to discuss Delhi blasts

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New Delhi, Sep 16 (UNI) Conceding the demand of Railway Minister and RJD president Lalu Prasad, the Government today decided to hold a Special Cabinet meeting tomorrow to discuss the Delhi blasts and other internal security issues.

The unscheduled Cabinet meeting is being called to discuss the various aspects of the serial blasts in the National Capital on September 13 which claimed 21 lives.

Following the blasts Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil has come under severe criticism for being soft on terrorism and ineffective in controlling the serial blasts at many places in the past couple of years.

Holding intelligence failure responsible for such blasts, the Railway Minister had yesterday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and demanded a special meeting of the Union Cabinet to discuss the September 13 blasts in Delhi. He had also stressed the need for holding a high level all party meeting to discuss the internal security scenario of the country.

Ms Gandhi yesterday had held a meeting of the senior Congress party leaders on internal security at which Mr Patil was not invited leading to the speculation that the latter may have to quit in view of the severe criticism of the Home Ministry's inability to tackle terrorism effectively.

However, later the Congress clarified that there was no question of Mr Patil's resignation. Mr Patil himself said there was no question of his resigning as he enjoyed the ''blessings of the leadership.'' But later in an interview given to a private TV channel today he said that he would resign if the leadership asked for it. However, he denied the charge of being soft on terror, an accusation levelled by not only the Opposition BJP but even his own colleagues in the Cabinet and partymen.

With the polls for some state assemblies and Parliament round the corner the UPA government would not like the public perception of it being soft on terrorism gaining ground and hence decided to call the special meeting of the Cabinet to discuss the blasts and it may also decide about the fate of Mr Patil as the Home Minister.


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