PC, Orissa CM spar over steps taken to free DM

Orissa`s CM reacted after reports came that Centre was not in favour of striking a deal with Maoists.

Bhubaneswar: Orissa Chief Minister Naveen
Patnaik on Saturday claimed that Union Home Minister P Chidambaram
did not object to the steps taken by the state government for
the release of two officials from Maoist captivity.

"After abduction of the collector and the junior
engineer, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram spoke to me and he
certainly did not object to any steps we are taking," Patnaik
told reporters amid media reports that Chidambaram had asked
the chief minister not to give in to the Maoists` demands.

"After taking all aspects into consideration, we took the
appropriate steps for their release," the chief minister said.

Patnaik said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also spoke to
him once after the abduction of Malkangiri Collector R Vineel
Krishna and junior engineer Pabitra Kumar Majhi on February

"The Prime Minister had expressed concern over the
safety of the two officials," Patnaik said.

His reaction came in the wake of reports that the Centre
was not in favour of Orissa government striking a deal with
Maoists for the release of its two officials, especially
ensuring freedom of some top jailed Maoist leaders.

Meanwhile, terming the abduction of the two government
officials as "unfortunate", visiting Congress MP Naveen Jindal
told reporters that Orissa had its own reasons to take steps
for their safe release.


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