Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray hit out at the ruling Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) coalition, stating that it only indulged in vote bank politics instead of letting the police proceed with their duties in a neutral manner.

In an editorial in the party’s mouthpiece Saamna, Mr. Thackeray alleged that the transfer of Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik would turn the minorities against the Congress in Maharashtra.

It cautioned the incumbent Commissioner Satyapal Singh against following the Congress line of “appeasing minorities.” The editorial claimed that had Mr. Patnaik been able to check the onslaught of protesters during the August 11 violence near Azad Maidan, the “prestige of the Mumbai police force” and Mr. Patnaik’s “honour” would have remained intact.

It asserted that the morale of the Mumbai police had been adversely affected due to Mr. Patnaik’s alleged refusal to take stringent action against the protesters.