A public spat among two senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) ministers, home minister RR Patil and rural development minister Jayant Patil, has bolstered the theory a split within the party.
The home minister took a dig at his predecessor Jayant Patil on Wednesday, saying that post the 26/11 terror attack, the home department had purchased weapons and equipment “in haste as it was the first time that the department got such hefty funds.”
This is the first time that a senior NCP minister has targeted his party and cabinet colleague on the floor of the Assembly.
“The internal rivalries in the NCP have been very intense. This also shows that NCP chief Sharad Pawar is having a tough time controlling both the Patils, because each one has created his own turf,” said Surendra Jondale, political analyst. He added that even though their rivalry was well known, such outbursts were uncalled for among senior ministers and showed a split within the NCP.
RR Patil had lost his home ministerial chair in the public ire following 26/11 terror attacks to party rival Jayant Patil. Post Assembly elections, however, RR Patil got the portfolio back even as Jayant Patil was relegated to a side posting of rural development department.
With the 13/7 blasts, RR Patil is on the backfoot once again. Party sources said that for the time being his ouster had been ruled out but the two favourites to take over the portfolio were Jayant Patil and water resources minister Sunil Tatkare.
State NCP chief Madhukar Pichad played down the issue. “RR Patil did not target anyone,’’ he said. He denied that ministers were warring in public.