Bhubaneswar, Feb 26 (PTI) Orissa Chief Minister NaveenPatnaik today claimed that Union Home Minister P Chidambaramdid not object to the steps taken by the state government forthe release of two officials from Maoist captivity.
"After abduction of the collector and the juniorengineer, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram spoke to me and hecertainly did not object to any steps we are taking," Patnaiktold reporters amid media reports that Chidambaram had askedthe chief minister not to give in to the Maoists'' demands."After taking all aspects into consideration, we took theappropriate steps for their release," the chief minister said.
Patnaik said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also spoke tohim once after the abduction of Malkangiri Collector R VineelKrishna and junior engineer Pabitra Kumar Majhi on February16.
"The prime minister had expressed concern over thesafety of the two officials," Patnaik said.
His reaction came in the wake of reports that the Centrewas not in favour of Orissa government striking a deal withMaoists for the release of its two officials, especiallyensuring freedom of some top jailed Maoist leaders.
Meanwhile, terming the abduction of the two governmentofficials as "unfortunate", visiting Congress MP Naveen Jindaltold reporters that Orissa had its own reasons to take stepsfor their safe release.