Union Agriculture minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar today conceded that Maharashtra police was "unprepared" to handle the kind of terror attack witnessed in Mumbai and that it had affected the country's "prestige".
Pawar, in an interview to television channel CNN-IBN here, said "(we were) absolutely unprepared and even today we are not well prepared to fight this kind of terror except for Indian Army and NSG. Any state government's police force is not well equipped, and they are not prepared ... They have to be trained and equipped."
He, however, refused to blame the attacks on intelligence failure, saying he will "not come to any conclusion till I get authentic information".
Asked whether the Mumbai terror attacks have affected the credibility of the Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra, Pawar said "It's not question of Congress-NCP, it has definitely affected the government, whether it is ... Any government but it has affected the country's prestige ...It was an attack on India's security system."
Responding to a query whether state home minister R R Patil's resignation was "too little and too late", the Agriculture Minister said "R R Patil has resigned because he himself felt that he should take the moral responsibility but to be frank that is not the answer to this. It is good that he has taken the moral responsibility and sent a signal to the public...But we have to go into detail and how are we going to improve the system."
Referring to Patil's remarks allegedly trying to downplay the terror attacks in a big metropolis like Mumbai, Pawar said "it is not correct. That was his language problem. He has not said this, he was very perturbed and if fact he was ready to resign three days back only".