Deshmukh, RR Patil could be next in firing line
Speculation raged over the fate of Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and his deputy RR Patil in the wake of Mumbai terror attacks after the exit of Shivraj Patil as Union Home Minister.delhi Updated: Dec 01, 2008 09:22 IST
After Shivraj Patil's exit as Union Home Minister, Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and his deputy RR Patil could be next in the line of fire.
Political circles were abuzz over the removal of Deshmukh with a section of the Congress saying if the Chief Minister goes his deputy should also be shown the door.
Top Congress sources said that no decision has been taken about the fate of Deshmukh, who had also came under attack from a section of the UPA over the attacks on north Indians by activists of Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).
Sources said a meeting of the UPA leaders, held ahead of the all party meeting, saw demands for removal of both Deshmukh and NCP leader R R Patil.
Deshmukh had also come under attack at the Congress Working Committee meeting last night presided over by Congress President Sonia Gandhi with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by her side.
Party sources said that Deshmukh, who was also present at the meeting, apprised the leadership about the situation after the end of the terrorist siege. He had, however, chosen to ignore the criticism.
The Chief Minister's camp emphasised that he was busy carrying out measures which are necessary after the strikes.
The name of Minister of State in PMO Prithviraj Chavan is doing the rounds in party circles if the Congress high command decides to replace Deshmukh, who has only recently completed four years at the helm of affairs in the state.
A section of Congress leaders say that strong steps are needed to ensure that the party means business when it comes to issues of security.