Five controversies of NCP leader RR Patil

Former Maharashtra home minister RR Patil, who passed away on Monday due to oral cancer, had an astounding political career. However, his name, along with the accomplishments in his political career, was also associated with several controversies.

New Delhi: Former Maharashtra home minister RR Patil, who passed away on Monday due to oral cancer, had an astounding political career. However, his name, along with the accomplishments in his political career, was also associated with several controversies.

Here are some of the controversies he was linked with:

The infamous rape remark: RR Patil stirred up the hornet's nest when during an election rally in Sangli, he had said that his MNS rival Sudhakar Khade, who was charged with rape, should have committed the crime post elections.

“MNS has fielded a candidate. Today MNS activists met me and said they would back me (in the elections). When I asked them why, they said their candidate is in jail. I asked as to what good act he has done? They told me that a rape case has been registered against him. If he wanted to contest and become an MLA, he should have committed rape after the elections,” Patil was quoted as saying by PTI.

Later, after being criticised by various organisations and women activists, he had sought for an apology.

Trivialising 2008 Mumbai terror attack: Patil had also faced flak when he had reduced the dastardly 2008 Mumbai terror attack to a mere small incident. “Bade bade shehron me, chhote chhote haadse hote rehte hain" (In big towns like Mumbai such small incidents keep on happening). He had further said that the terrorists had ammunition and planned to kill 5,000 people. But the security forces reduced the damage to a much lesser degree.

Skipping Jawans' funeral: Patil was also lambasted by all patriots after he failed to attend and pay last respects to the Maharashtra police martyrs at Gadchiroli. The police jawans were killed by Naxals in a landmine attack. Above all, Patil was a guardian minister of Gadchiroli. However, later his aides had told that he could not turn up for the funeral as he was advised by the senior police officials not to attend the event due to security reasons.

This act gave a lot of arsenal to his political rivals to launch a scathing attack on him.

Banning of dance bars: Acting as a home minister of Maharashtra, RR Patil not only stayed the ban on dance bars in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra, but also extended it to three-star and five-star hotels. This rendered many people unemployed. His moral policing decision was criticised by many social activists and liberal groups.

Ban on James Laine's book: As president of Maharashtra NCP RR Patil decided to seek Interpol's help in arresting and bringing American scholar James Laine to Mumbai for his controversial book 'Shivaji: Hindu king in Islamic India'. The book was alleged to have contained derogatory references to Chhatrapati Shivaji and his mother Jijamata. 

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