Mumbai: Soon after making a belligerent statement on regretting the move to hand over of state Home Ministry to Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan was quick to roll back on his comment.

Chavan in a bold statement has said it was grave mistake to give the key portfolio of State Home Ministry to NCP – the coalition partner of Congress in Maharashtra. The CM’s remarked stirred up the hornet’s nest, and a sharp criticizing soon came from the NCP. 
Sensing the exigencies of the situation, Chavan was quick to make amends by appreciating the performance of State Home Minister RR Patil.

On the other, Maharashtra Congress Unit in-charge Mohan Prakash also distanced himself from Chavan’s statement by saying he is not aware of any such comment by the Chief Minister.
 “Looking at the past, I do not know any other coalition government where the portfolios of home, finance and planning were not with the Chief Minister. The tradition was to keep such key portfolios with the Chief Minister of the state”, Chavan said in an interview soon after the Mumbai blast.

Following the footsteps of Shiv Sena-BJP state government, Congress gave the two key portfolios of the Cabinet to its ally.

Soon after the serial blasts, Chavan termed the party move as a mistake. In wake of the recent terror activities in Mumbai, he opined that the charge of Home Minister should be given to a Congress leader.

However, NCP’s reaction forced the CM to retract from his comment. Appreciating the Home Minister, he said that his statement was not made in reference to the Mumbai blasts.  Chavan denied any political motive behind his comment, and claimed that the issue should be brought to an end.

Previously, the former Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Ashok Chavan too had admitted that it is easier to maintain the state law and order situation if the portfolio of Home Ministry was under the is Chief Minster or any member of his party.

JPN/Bureau