The Congress party, a junior partner in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra, on Tuesday clearly pointed out that the letter bomb by the former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh on corruption charges against Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has dented the state government’s image and it has been a matter of serious concern. At the meeting chaired by Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat, who is also the leader of the Congress Legislature Party, the ministers and senior leaders made a strong case for self-introspection and a damage control exercise before it goes beyond repair.
A senior minister told Free Press Journal, "Undoubtedly the Maha Vikas Aghadi government’s image is dented due to the turn of events. The bomb scare, the death of Mansukh Hiran, former city police commissioner’s corruption allegations against Deshmukh have been a matter of deep concern. Even though the allegations are not against Congress but it is against the state government in which the party is a key ally.’’ He further said the participants at the meeting said the MVA ruling partners will have to urgently take corrective steps to restore the government’s image.
Another minister said the party has not sought Deshmukh’s resignation based on just one letter and BJP’s attacks. ‘’ However, there is a need for damage control. The Congress ministers and other senior leaders will again meet on Thursday or later to further discuss the evolving political situation,’’ he added.
The meeting was attended by ministers Nitin Raut, Aslam Shaikh, Sunil Kedar, Amit Deshmukh, Satej Patil, former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Mumbai Regional Congress Committee President Bhai Jagtap, and executive president Charan Singh Sapra at Thorat’s residence. The meeting took place a day after the Congress general secretary in charge of Maharashtra HK Patil held talks with Thorat and Public Work Minister Ashok Chavan on Monday on the prevailing political situation amid BJP’s attacks following the letter bomb and also on the bomb scare and Mansukh Hirani death. Subsequently, Thorat and Chavan met Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and explained the party's stand. Patil will submit its report to the Congress high command.