Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan on Monday disapproved of Union Minister Sharad Pawar’s meeting with Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray making it clear that his government was “competent enough” to give adequate security to IPL matches.
“I do not think there is need to take permission from any other authority in the State... There cannot be an extra-constitutional authority,” Mr. Chavan told reporters. “…The government is competent, it is the authority and there cannot be two authorities in State,” he added
(Reports said Mr. Pawar, who is also president of the Mumbai Cricket Association, requested Mr. Thackeray to withdraw his threat against Australian cricketers’ participation in the IPL cricket tourney.)
Mr. Chavan, however, refused to comment on why Mr. Pawar met Mr. Thackeray on the issue.
“Don’t ask me. It will be better you ask Pawar, who is a senior leader, about his motive behind meeting Thackeray,” Mr. Chavan said adding that a “democratically elected” government will perform its duty “as expected.”
In a strong message to the Shiv Sena, the Chief Minister said all security will be provided and “any body who will try to take law in hands, try to perpetrate any violent incident, state government will take stern view and initiate legal action.”
To a question on VHP threatening to hold the release of Sharukh Khan’s latest movie My Name is Khan, Mr. Chavan said “nobody can take law in hands. We will take action if somebody is giving such threats. Law will take its course, let them say whatever they want.”
“I will also go to see the movie along with my family members,” he added.
About his meeting with the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Mr. Chavan said he discussed the “problems of Mumbai” with him.
“I met the Prime Minister and discussed the problems of Mumbai. To expedite desalination process, Central grant should be given to our state as it is being given to other States. I requested the Prime Minister to help my State,” he said.
NCP justifies Pawar-Thackeray meeting
Meanwhile, the NCP on Monday justified its chief’s discussion with Mr. Thackeray contending that in a democracy dialogue and discussion are important.
NCP spokesman D.P. Tripathi said Mr. Pawar had met Mr. Thackeray along with BCCI chief Shashank Manohar to convince the Sena supremo about holding of the IPL matches in Mumbai and there was no political import to the meeting.
“In democracy we persuade people through discussion and dialogue,” Mr. Tripathi said.
At the same time he agreed with Mr. Chavan that there was no extra-constitutional authority.
Mr. Tripathi also insisted that persuasion is far more important than coercion in a democratic state.