Farhan Bokhari, James Lamont, Joe Leahy and James Fontanella-Khan
Monday, Dec 01, 2008
A second top Indian politician offered to resign on Monday as the Indian government came under intense pressure over its handling of the Mumbai attacks, which claimed at least 192 lives in a rampage by a team of well-organised terrorists.
Vilasrao Deshmukh, Maharashtra state chief minister and a member of the ruling Congress party, said on Monday he had offered to resign following the terror attacks.
Mr Deshmukh’s offer, which comes a day after Shivraj Patil, India’s home minister, stepped down over the attacks, has yet to be accepted by the central government.
”I have offered to resign,” Mr Deshmukh told reporters. However, he added that he would wait for his Congress party leaders to decide his future.
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Mr Patil resigned for failing to stem the violence that has swept India this year as criticism intensified during the weekend over the response of the security forces to the attack on India’s financial capital. Mumbai had been struck twice before – the last occasion two years ago – but opposition politicians and businesspeople said lessons had not been learned.
Mr Singh’s office said Palaniappan Chidambaram, finance minister, would replace Shivraj Patil as home minister.
India’s security was being taken to “war level”, Sriprakash Jaiswal, the minister of state for home affairs told Reuters.
This article was posted: Monday, December 1, 2008 at 12:01 pm