An adverse police report on Minister of State Home Ramesh Bagwe became a controversy on Friday with Congress reacting bitterly.
The Congress publicly criticized Home Minister R.R. Patil who hails from Nationalist Congress Party.
“A police officer speaks against the minister of his department to the media. It shows that the home department has no control over the police officers,” said Congress spokesman Hussain Dalwai.
Patil is Home Minister while Bagwe is his deputy.
Bagwe’s passport renewal was stalled by Pune passport office as the verification report submitted by the local police showed that 19 cases were pending against him. These cases included some serious charges like kidnapping but Bagwe had on Thursday denied the same.
He had insisted that the cases against him were political and indirectly blamed Pune police commissioner Satyapal Singh for ‘running a malicious campaign’ against him.
“First, we want the government to probe how a police officer talks to the media against a minister,” said Dalwai referring to a deputy commissioner who was quoted in the media in reports on Bagwe’s passport verification issue.
Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said he had sought the information on the issue and would speak only after finding out what had happened.
There was no official reaction from the home department on Friday. However, a senior home official called up Singh and told him that he could not have an ego clash with the minister of his own department.
Bagwe who is also elected to the Assembly from Pune has a running feud with Singh.
As there were reports in the media about Bagwe’s passport renewal being stalled due to cases against him, Congress was irked.
The Bagwe-Satyapal Singh clash has been on for quite some time now with Bagwe’s most recent gaffe at the state legislature being the new trigger. Bagwe announced in the Legislative Council that Singh would be transferred in a debate on security without consulting either Patil or Chavan.
Patil, on the same day commended Singh as a good officer and ticked of Bagwe. Post this incident, Singh has even cordoned off road to Bagwe’s home in Pune, citing security reasons.
The Bagwe-Singh clash is a surrogate tussle between the Congress and the NCP.
Chavan and Patil are not on good terms with the latter refusing the CM to let him in on anything in the department. Both the parties are also currently at loggerheads over the appointment of the state’s new director general of police.
Congress is backing Hasan Gaffor while NCP would like an extension for A.N. Roy.