Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan's remarks that it was a "mistake" to give the key home portfolio to NCP in the state created a controversy on Friday with the AICC distancing itself from the CM's statement.
"It is time for all to unitedly fight the scourge of terrorism in the wake of the 13/7 Mumbai blasts. It should be the first priority", senior party leader Mohan Prakash, who is in charge of party affairs in Maharashtra, told reporters, denying any knowledge of Chavan's controversial statement.
NCP general secretary DP Tripathi too denied any knowledge of Chavan's statement noting that the state leadership of the party would study it before reacting. NCP sources, were, however, not amused by the CM's remarks.
Prakash was talking to reporters close on the heels of Chavan's statement that it was a "mistake" to give the home portfolio to the NCP.
"We should have re-looked at it. I don't know of any other coalition government where the portfolios of Home, finance and planning are not with the chief minister," Chavan said.
The chief minister's remarks have come at a time when state home minister RR Patil of NCP, who had to quit after 26/11 terror attacks, has come under fire over the Mumbai blasts.
A senior Congress leader, who declined to be identified, sought to ensure that the high command is not dragged into the row by noting that the matter raised by the chief minister could be tackled at the local level.
The Congress high command, however, came out in support of Chavan over the issue of his continuance with party spokesman Shakeel Ahmed at the AICC briefing and Prakash, speaking separately, giving more than hints of backing the CM.