MUMBAI: Maharashtra deputy chief minister R R Patil, who was in the crosshairs in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks, resigned on Monday.
"I have submitted my resignation letter to chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh. I have gone by my conscience and decided to take this step," Patil said.
The Maharastra deputy chief minister said this in the aftermath of the criticism following Mumbai terror strikes.
"I pondered over the issue the whole night yesterday. Finally, I have decided to quit as per my conscience," Patil said.
Patil's resignation follows the exit of the union home minister Shivraj Patil, who put in his papers to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday, after the Congress Working Committee spoke disapprovingly of the home minister, in light of the Mumbai carnage and other terror strikes in the country.
The Maharashtra deputy chief minister, who was also in charge of the state home ministry, was under severe criticism following the terror attacks with opposition Shiv Sena and BJP demanding his resignation alleging that he failed to handle the situation.
Patil belongs to the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party and hails from Sangli district in western Maharashtra.
Sharad Pawar has asked the Maharashtra chief minister to accept the resignation of R R Patil.
"I have told the chief minister to accept the resignation of Patil," Pawar said.
The NCP chief and agriculture minister said Patil was feeling "uneasy" since the terror strikes and he had expressed his desire to step down three days back
Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh also appears to be on his way out following his deputy 's resignation.
"If one of the two goes, the other has to go too," said a senior Congress leader today.
The name of minister of state in the Prime Minister's Office Prithviraj Chavan is doing the rounds as the frontrunner to succeed Deshmukh, sources said.
The Congress leadership is annoyed with Patil, particularly because of his insensitive remark on Saturday where he sought to play down the enormity of the jihadi atrocity against Mumbai, almost likening it to a routine law and order incident which is common in any big city.
On Saturday, Patil had described the Mumbai carnage as a "small incident" that "can happen in big cities."
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