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Upset NCP up in arms against CM

mumbai Updated: Jul 19, 2011 00:30 IST
Sayli Udas Mankikar

Miffed at chief minister Prithviraj Chavan for expressing his disapproval with the NCP-run home department, party leaders have decided to take up the matter at the state Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

The NCP ministers think Chavan should have been "careful" while making statements about the home department, headed by RR Patil.

On Monday, Patil and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar met NCP chief Sharad Pawar to determine the party's strategy in the wake of Chavan's allegations.

Chavan, while speaking to the media, had said that he believed an important portfolio like home should be with the chief minister. He also said the power-sharing formula between the allies in 1999 elections, which saw Congress barter away portfolios like finance, home, water resources and energy in exchange for the chief ministerial chair, was a "mistake".

Sources in the state secretariat said the blasts were the tipping point for Chavan, who has been annoyed with the home department for its failure to solve the murder of additional district collector Yashwant Sonawane by the oil mafia and the murder of journalist J Dey.

"Just a few hours before his statement was aired, we had a special Cabinet meeting where he [Chavan] said we had to fight the situation out in unity and should not go out and speak. What he said was unwarranted. We will raise the issue in the Cabinet," said a senior NCP minister.

A section of the NCP's top brass, however, does not think this is the time to react angrily. Party sources said Pawar is not keen that his ministers get into political squabbles at a time when people are angry with the government for its failure to prevent another terror attack.

The NCP is seriously considering Chavan's proposal of setting up a mechanism on the lines of the Centre's cabinet committee on security to handle emergency situations or police supervision.

'VIPs shouldn't flock to hospitals'
The NCP is also critical of the constant flow of VIPs into the city after the blast, and will take it up at the meeting. A day after the blast, PM Manmohan Singh and Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi visited JJ hospital.

"There was a three-hour curfew from entering the hospital that created problems for people attending to patients," an NCP minister said.

"Fewer VIPs should flock to hospitals as it hinders the movement for doctors and is unhealthy for the patient's treatment," said Jayant Patil, city's guardian minister.