Mr. Bhattacharjee was invited by Mr. Chidambaram to visit Delhi nearly a month ago for discussion following repeated demands of UPA ally Trinamool Congress that the Centre must intervene to stop the violence in West Bengal.
During the 45-minute meeting, Mr. Bhattacharjee is understood to have explained the situation in violence-hit areas to the Home Minister and the steps being taken by the state government, sources said.
“It was a good meeting,” Mr. Bhattacharjee told reporters immediately after coming out of the Home Ministry, but refused to disclose further.
The meeting took place following letters written by Mr. Chidambaram to Mr. Bhattacharjee asking him to take immediate action to stop the violence, saying it pointed to a “virtual collapse” of law and order in West Bengal.
In the letter dated December 22, 2010, Mr. Chidambaram questioned West Bengal government on its use of central forces in the state, saying the killing of activists of political parties was going on unabated.
The Home Minister had also asked the state government to ensure that the armed cadres belonging to ‘harmad vahini’ (looters and pirates) are “immediately disarmed and demobilised“.
Mr. Chidambaram’s strong letter to Mr. Bhattacharjee came after TC chief and Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee alleged misuse of central security forces in the state and offered to quit if her charge was proved wrong.
Mr. Bhattacharjee and CPI—M hit back at the Home Minister, accusing him of being “partisan” with a motive to “please” Trinamool Congress and serve its “political interests”. He also objected to Mr. Chidambaram’s use of the word ‘harmad’ saying it was a “nasty” word.
Later, in another letter, Mr. Chidambaram invited Mr. Bhattacharjee to New Delhi for a discussion on this “extremely sensitive” issue and agree upon the way forward.