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Maharashtra deputy CM faces flak over Raj Thackeray's comments
May 07, 2008 02:21 IST
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil was understood to have faced criticism from some of his ministerial colleagues at a cabinet meeting in Mumbai on Tuesday night for his handling of the issue of Raj Thackeray's attack on North Indians, but he denied having threatened to quit.
Patil, who holds the Home portfolio, attributed the reports about his threat to step down to "people who want intra-party differences in the Nationalist Congress Party to increase".
"The objective behind spreading such reports is to harm the party interests," Patil said in a veiled reference to senior NCP ministers with whom he does not get along well.
"I did not threaten to resign...there are no intra-party differences over this (Raj Thackeray) issue or any other issue," he said.
Asked about the allegation that there was delay in taking action against Raj for his speech against north Indians, Patil said, "All aspects have to be considered while taking action. This should not be construed as failure of the government".
"In case of Raj Thackeray's comments earlier, action was taken quickly unlike cases involving utterances by some senior leaders, against whom action is taken seven years after they spoke something," Patil said without naming Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray.
On Samajwadi Party leader Abu Asim Azmi's remarks about providing arms training to north Indians, Patil said, "Nobody will be allowed to raise a private army�these are illegal alternatives to political power."
Raj had fired a fresh salvo against North Indians last week.