A senior Congress leader criticised Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil over “delay” in promotion of city police chief Satyapal Singh and claimed the state has “suffered” due to NCP getting the home portfolio.
“The promotion file of Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh, which was supposed to be received on April 1, 2013 by Chavan was received after five months i.e. On September 30, 2013,” the leader said on condition of anonymity.
Singh is due for promotion to the rank of Director General.
Transfers and promotions of the rank and file of IPS officers in the state have been pending for almost a year now, allegedly due to a tussle between Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Patil, with both Congress and NCP trying to have their say in the matter.
The leader claimed Chavan had discussed the issue of transfer of IPS officers and appointment of successor to the Police Commissioner with NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
As per the Police Transfer Act, if transfers are not done in specified time period, the Chief Minister is authorised to take the decision.
“They (NCP) have some interest in the appointment of (new) police commissioner of the city (of their choice),” the Congress leader claimed.
According to reports, Javed Ahmed, currently additional DGP (law and order) and senior IPS officer Vijay Kamble are in the race for the post of city police commissioner.
The latest attack on NCP by the alliance partner is likely to further affect already strained ties between the two parties even as elections are round the corner.
“The procedure of timely appointment of Mumbai Police Commissioner should have been followed. As the home department is with them (NCP), Maharashtra has suffered hugely. Elsewhere in the country the home department is with the chief minister’s party. Giving away the Home Department to them was not a good idea,” the leader said.
Taking a dig at NCP for its criticism of Chavan over “slow” decision-making, the leader said, “They (NCP) complain that Chief Minister does not clear files swiftly. But at first place, he should receive files (in time) to clear them. Didn’t the CM receive the file of commissioner of police late?”
When asked if Chavan will set his foot down on the issue, the Congress leader replied in the negative, saying “Chavan knows that using veto power will be detrimental to the prospects of the fragile tie-up (between Congress and NCP)”.
However, he also expressed hope that the sticky issue might get resolved in a week.