Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan on Saturday distanced himself from senior party leader Balasaheb Vikhe Patil's comments, who had held NCP president Sharad Pawar responsible for adopting irrigation policies that made the state, particularly Marathwada, drought-prone.
"Pawar needs to do some introspection. He was Maharashtra chief minister three times and a Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha as well as Union Agriculture Minister. Despite that, why does he have to take part in a drought-hit farmers' rally?" Vikhe Patil had said while speaking to reporters in Shirdi recently.
When asked about Vikhe-Patil's allegations, Chavan said, "It is his personal opinion".
Asked whether Pawar meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi last week on the issue of drought in Maharashtra, was aimed at deriving political mileage for NCP, Chavan said, "We do not want to politicise the issue of drought. I do not want to comment on what NCP does".
"Presently, Marathwada and other regions are reeling under drought. During the long years in power, Pawar-led NCP held key portfolios- irrigation, electricity in the state. However, these sectors failed to make any progress," Vikhe Patil had said.
Addressing Pawar as a 'Baramatikar' (hailing from Baramati), Vikhe Patil had alleged that Pawar has deprived Beed, Osmanabad and Latur from getting water from Krishna valley.
Meanwhile, in reply to a question, Chavan said CM Devendra Fadnavis should consider appointing a full time independent home minister in his cabinet in view of "deteriorating" law and order situation in the state.
He also claimed that despite foreign tours undertaken by Fadnavis, Maharashtra had failed to attract investment in the state and has been overtaken by Gujarat in the industrialisation ranking.