Pawar praises Patil for handling of Aug 11 Mumbai violence

Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil received firm support from NCP president Sharad Pawar, who certified him as a "capable" minister doing a good job.

Pune: Under attack from the opposition for the police handling of the August 11 violence in Mumbai, Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil on Wednesday received firm support from the NCP president Sharad Pawar, who certified him as a "capable" minister doing a good job.

"Patil is a capable minister, who is doing a good job. He handled the situation well. The party is fully backing him," he told reporters here in response to queries about criticism faced by Patil in the wake of the violence in the aftermath of the morcha taken out to condemn riots in Assam.

Pawar said police handled the situation well to bring it under control as use of force would have resulted in many casualties.

The transfer of Arup Patnaik, the then Mumbai police commissioner, was a pre-determined administrative decision, he noted.

On the current deadlock in the Parliament on the coalgate issue, the NCP chief said it was important to allow debate in Parliament, which was the only a forum to raise issues of national interests.

The opposition had a right to question the government and the government, too, can join the debate with an open mind, he added.

He expressed hope that the deadlock would end soon as "responsible leaders" were trying to restore normal functioning of the House.

Pawar said the "mota maal" expression used by BJP leader Sushma Swaraj in connection with the coalgate controversy was "unbecoming" and added that both the sides should observe restraint.

The minister, who reviewed drought situation here, said the request of Maharashtra government for financial assistance to tide over drought was being processed by the Centre.

One more meeting would be held on September 4 in this connection, he added.