Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday apologised for the ruckus outside a city club where policemen jostled with members to prevent their entry during a function attended by him even as an angry opposition demanded sacking of the state police chief over the incident.
Traffic policemen at the NSCI club had on Sunday night stopped private vehicles to make way for the Chief Minister’s convoy and video footage showed them grappling with some of the club members, including an elderly person.
Fadnavis said, “My sincere apologies to those who were stopped by the police unnecessarily. People in the state have always seen me stopping at traffic signals.”
“I would make inquiry into the NSCI incident…Unless there is an emergency or real threat perception inputs, police shouldn’t trouble people,” he tweeted.
“I don’t believe in VIP culture,” he said.
Opposition Congress and NCP, however, said mere apology by the Chief Minister will not remedy the situation and demanded a mechanism to avoid such incidents in future.
“I am surprised why the CM is protecting the DGP. He should be removed from his post as he has failed to sensitise his department and the situation is deteriorating day-by-day,” Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil said.
“Yesterday’s (Sunday’s) incident was unfortunate. It is not only the CM, but the (Home) department which has to pull up its socks and reorganise itself. The system needs a complete overhaul and a transparent mechanism needs to be put in place to avoid unnecessary harassment of common people,” he said.
Patil said Fadnavis, who holds the Home portfolio, should ensure that VVIP movements do not cause commotion.
NCP said the ground situation would not change with CM’s apology and sought steps to prevent recurrence of such unsavoury incidents.
“Since the CM has apologised, it shows that he has realised his mistake and that what has happened is wrong. But a simple apology will not suffice. He needs to put a mechanism in place to make sure this does not happen again,” state NCP President Sunil Tatkare said.