Nationalist Congress Party on Thursday came to the defence of Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil, saying that he could not be blamed for the arrest of two girls by the Palghar police over a Facebook comment.
NCP spokesman Nawab Malik said there was nothing objectionable in Shaheen Dhada's facebook comment, but "R R Patil did not give the order to arrest the girls".
The arrest of Dhada and her friend Renu Srinivasan over the comment -- which questioned the shutting down of Mumbai in the wake of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray's death -- has come in for flak from across the country.
Congress ministers had criticised Patil, who belongs to the NCP, over the issue at Thursday's cabinet meeting.
Malik said it was responsibility of both the Congress and the NCP "to ensure smooth functioning of the government".
"Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has already conveyed his wish that both parties should contest the 2014 elections together. Chavan is a sensitive leader who takes sensible decisions," Malik added.