West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Monday hit back at Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram for his comments that in maintaining law and order the buck stopped at the Chief Minister's table, and asked him to “mind” his language.
“Buck is not the language of politicians. It is a slang. I will tell him to mind his language. I had asked him to tell the Opposition to cooperate with the government,” Mr. Bhattacharjee told journalists here.
Asked about Mr. Chidambaram's views, the Chief Minister said: “I do not accept what he said. I know my responsibility. Let me do my job and let him do his.”
Mr. Chidambaram, during a visit to Lalgarh on Sunday, expressed unhappiness over recurring inter-party clashes in the State and said he had told the Chief Minister “the buck stops with you.”
“I have my own views”
Mr. Bhattacharjee said he knew the responsibility lay with him. “I am trying to discharge my responsibilities. I have my own views about the law and order situation. He gave me his views and I gave him mine.”
“But I also told him that it is very difficult to maintain law and order if the Opposition does not cooperate. I told him that you should tell the Opposition to attend meetings when called by the government.”
Asked about Mr. Chidambaram's statement that the situation was very bad in eight select police stations as conceded by Mr. Bhattacharjee himself, the Chief Minister said, “I had only told him that there are difficulties in maintaining law and order in these areas.”
To a query whether the Union Home Minister was within his jurisdiction to comment on the law and order situation in any State, Mr. Bhattacharjee said, “He can give his own observation, but maintaining law and order is the State's responsibility.”