Giving Home Ministry to NCP was a mistake: Chavan

Mumbai: Amidst questions being raised on security issues in the wake of the Mumbai blasts, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Friday said Congress agreeing to give the key Home portfolio to NCP was a mistake.

“I think it was a mistake. We should have re-looked at it. I don’t know of any other coalition government where the portfolios of Home, Finance and Planning are not with the Chief Minister,” Mr. Chavan said.

“This was a division agreed to by us in 1999 when Congress-NCP first came to power in the state. That pattern was based on the model adopted by the Shiv Sena-BJP government during 1995-99,” Mr. Chavan told a TV channel.

The Chief Minister’s remarks have come at a time when Home Minister R.R. Patil of NCP, who had to quit after 26/11 terror attacks, has come under fire over the Mumbai blasts.

“But then this is also a unique government where two almost equal partners are running the government, unlike in Delhi or West Bengal where there is a dominant partner having small parties’ support,” Mr. Chavan said when asked if there was an internal contradiction that a key portfolio like Home is being held by a junior coalition partner.

“This is a unique coalition. But I don’t think that is a major problem. We both (Congress and NCP) come from the Congress culture. We split in 1999 for some reason,” he said.

Asked if this had hampered his functioning, Mr. Chavan said, “There are difficulties at times. Decision-making takes time. We take everybody on board. But I think it is a part of coalition politics.”