Five years after RR Patil resigned from the post of home minister after 26/11 terror attacks in November 2008, he made a shocking revelation blaming the Naphta mafia in Maharashtra for engineering a plan that led to his ouster from the Cabinet.
Patil, who became home minister for the third time a year after the attacks, told a television channel on Thursday night that the ‘strong Naphta lobby framed him by spreading misunderstandings and designed a media campaign against him’.
“This led to me quitting the post. The Naphta lobby hit back because the government (read home department under Patil's command) had completely destroyed them.”
Patil was slammed by the media for his alleged post-attacks comment that “such small things happen in big cities”. The minister contested the comment arguing that he had said that about intelligence failure and not about the attacks. “One can verify my interview on YouTube. It clearly shows that my comment was in another context. I was framed. I resigned taking all the responsibility of the attacks,” said Patil.
In 2004, Patil, the then deputy chief minister and home minister, had set up a separate squad to unearth a scam involving multi-crore tax evasion and adulteration of petrol and diesel using imported Naphtha and kerosene.
Patil said getting home minister’s charge a year after terror attack was a matter of fate and honour for him. “Kasab [26/11 acused] was hanged in my term. It’s a matter of satisfaction for not only me but kin of families and security personnel who lost their lives in the attacks.”