Kolkata, April 5 (IANS) Taking exception to union Home Minister P. Chidambaram's remark that in tackling inter-party clashes the "buck should stop at the chief minister' table", Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Monday said it was not the "language of a politician".
Virtually asking Chidambaram to mind his own business, the chief minister said: "What is the situation in the country now? Let him perform his own duty. I am carrying out my responsibilities."
"I know the responsibility is mine, no doubt. But the language is not good. It (buck) is slang. Such language is never used by politicians," Bhattacharjee said at the state secretariat, when media persons sought his reaction on Chidambaram's remark.
"Do you know poker? Follow it? Then you will understand. I never find such words in politician's speeches," Bhattacharjee said here.
Interacting with reporters at Lalgarh in West Midnapore district, Chidambaram Sunday said he had asked Bhattacharjee to curb inter-party clashes in the state, as otherwise it would indicate a law and order problem.
"It is the duty of the state government to ensure inter-party clashes come to an end...Eventually the buck stops at the chief minister's table. It should not go beyond his table. If the buck goes beyond the chief minister's table, then that shows the failure of the state," Chidambaram had said.
The two leaders held a nearly 40-minute meeting Saturday.
Chidambaram's comment followed persistent accusations from the Trinamool Congress, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government's second largest partner and the main opposition force in the state, regarding the law and order situation and alleged atrocities by cadres of West Bengal's ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).
Countering Chidambaram, Bhattacharjee said he had asked the home minister to convince the opposition in the state to cooperate with the administration in maintaining law and order. "I don't accept what he says. The point is the opposition should also behave. If they don't cooperate, it's very difficult to maintain law and order."
"I am trying my best. I told him he had heard only one side of the story. I told the minister, you ask the opposition also. They won't participate in any discussions at the state or district level. If they don't cooperate, what message is going to the ranks?" he asked.
Bhattacharjee also denied Chidambaram's claim that the chief minister had named half a dozen police stations in the state where "law and order machinery was not effective".
"No. I never used such words. I said there are difficulties in some pockets. He also mentioned some areas. I told him the names of the difficult police station areas. I told him to convince the opposition to participate in meetings called by the administration," he said.
Bhattacharjee categorically said while the union home minister was free to express his observations to him, law and order was the responsibility of the state government.
"He loves to play with words. But I know I have to do the job," he said.