RR Patil attacks CM Chavan over corruption in RTO
Speaking at the inauguration of Road Safety Fortnight, the Home Minister lambasted the CM-led transport department over corruption, the system of issuing licences and lack of coordination between the various departments
Home Minister RR Patil grabbed yet another opportunity to criticise Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, showing clear signs that the relationship between coalition partners Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has soured. Sulking over the alleged non-cooperative attitude of CM Chavan, and after a tiff in the state cabinet meeting on Thursday, Patil took the CM-led transport department to task, saying the RTO issues licences to kill, instead of licenses to drive.
During the inauguration of Road Safety Fortnight yesterday, Patil launched a scathing attack against the department over alleged corruption, the system of issuing licenses without proper tests, inadequacy of staff for test checks and lack of coordination between various departments of the government. Surprisingly, Patil took on the department in presence of the CM at the Sahyadri state guesthouse.
On Thursday, Patil had raised his voice over him being neglected for the Republic Day parade. “The concerned file to organise the parade at Marine Drive was not shown to me. Senior officials put my name into brackets, signed on my behalf and forwarded the file without even consulting me,” Patil had alleged. “I cannot even transfer or suspend a constable. The status of ministers has become like that pets,” he had said.
During the cabinet meeting, he had also insisted that the state couldn’t copy the Aam Aadmi Party’s decision to offer relief in power bills to people. He was equally aggressive over other issues, sources told this newspaper. When asked about his comments on the CM-led department, Patil said they were not aimed at the CM, but that he was simply pointing out the lacunae in the transport system.
“There has to be coordination between various departments, such as transport, home, public health and others, as the number of accidents is growing. The availability of roads, parking space, hospitals and police force does not match up to the high rate of growth of vehicles on road,” he stated at his chamber in Mantralaya. Patil also announced Rs 15 crore in special funds to the state police for investigation. “Such a fund has been sanctioned for the first time to the police,” he told reporters at his chamber, after releasing a book Thuganchya Duniyet (Inside the World Of Thugs), written by retired ACP T B Gaud.