The Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) government’s decision to bring RR Patil back as home minister barely a fortnight before the first anniversary of the 26/11 attacks has attracted severe criticism from the Opposition.
Patil was heading the department when the terror attacks took place. He was forced to quit following public anger against the government for its failure to prevent the attack.
“It seems the government has bestowed an award on Patil for his deeds,” state Bharatiya Janata Party President Nitin Gadkari said.
“The government should have had some sense before appointing the same person to head the home ministry under whose leadership the 26/11 terror attacks occurred,” Gadkari added.
The Shiv Sena called it an insult to all those who died in the attacks.
“It looks like the government is honouring the dead policemen for performing their duty,” Shiv Sena Member of Parliament and party spokesperson Sanjay Raut said.
The Ram Pradhan committee that probed the lapses in preventing and countering the attacks had observed that there was chaos and lack of coordination at the government level.
Though Patil was not named, the lack of initiatives to come up with strong anti-terror steps was also highlighted in the report.
Patil’s remark that small incidents were common in big cities were common had also invoked anger among citizens.
The NCP, however, justified the decision.
“Should a person take moral responsibility for one incident twice? We all know that he is the most honest and capable person for the post,” NCP spokesperson Prakash Binsale. Binsale defended Patil saying he had “cleaned the police system”.
“Whatever he had said after the attacks was due to his weak grasp over a particular language,” said Binsale.