Maharashtra deputy CM RR Patil makes his exit

Mumbai: With union home minister Shivraj Patil putting in his papers on Sunday morning owning moral responsibility for the Mumbai terror attacks, it was the turn of Maharashtra deputy chief minister RR Patil to follow the dictates of his conscience and submit his resignation to the state chief minister Monday morning.

"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. "I pondered over the issue the whole night yesterday. Finally, I have decided to quit as per my conscience," he added.

RR Patil, deputy CM, Maharashtra Like his counterpart in Delhi, RR Patil also came in for intense criticism for his failure to address security issues and also for his insensitivity when he sought to play down the enormity of the terror attack against Mumbai. Patil likened it to a routine law and order incident which is common in any big city, describing the carnage as a "small incident" that "can happen in big cities."

Patil belongs to the Nationalist Congress Party. His party chief Sharad Pawar said he had asked the Maharashtra chief minister to accept Patil's resignation. "I have told the chief minister to accept the resignation of Patil," he 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

With these two resignations pressure is now mounting on Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh to follow suit.

The chief minister was spotted with a film director in his entourage when he visited the ravaged Taj hotel on Sunday.  The presence of the film director and his son in the chief minister's touring party has created further embarrassment for an embattled central government desperately trying to ward off negative fallout from the terror attack.

The CMs son, Riteish, is an actor and his presence along with the film director's in the touring party has now led to uncomfortable questions being posed.