State home Minister RR Patil has stolen a march over the Congress, Union government and even Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan in taking credit for the hanging of Ajmal Kasab.
Such was the alacrity of the home minister that his office started informing media persons right from 7am asking them to come to his house around 8am. Most media persons thought he was going to announce his resignation or his exit from the party.
However, to their surprise, a formal announcement of the hanging of Kasab was made around 8.30am by the home minister even before Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde made an announcement to that effect to the media persons in Delhi. Around 9am, Shinde made an announcement to media persons in Delhi.
Only after both the Union as well as state home ministers gave their statements, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan spoke to the press. Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee chief Manikrao Thakre said, “RR Patil has not done anything wrong. But it would have been ideal if the Union home minister had made the first announcement as the matter was being dealt with at the national level. The central government was part of the procedures at every level and it also involved international relations.“Everybody knows the role of the Union government and the state government in the execution of the terrorist. So no one in particular can take credit for it,” Thakre added.
However, Congress leaders expressed anger over Patil’s move to go ahead and make an announcement even before Shinde or Chavan as the Congress-led Union government and president Pranab Mukherjee had a major role in speeding up the process and ensuring that Kasab was hanged.
The Congress party has been on the back foot on this issue and had intended to score a point over the Opposition. It wanted to ensure that all the flak over the issue did not affect the party’s image.