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How did we have no intel on flight of rebels, upset Pawar asks minister

India News

Upset that the state Home ministry and Intelligence department did not alert the MVA leadership about rebel Shiv Sena MLAs leaving Maharashtra for a safe haven in BJP-ruled Gujarat, NCP chief Sharad Pawar is said to have conveyed his “serious displeasure” to state Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil, who is from the NCP, and state party chief Jayant Patil.

Incidentally, one of the rebel MLAs is MoS (Home) Shambhuraj Desai.

Sources said Walse-Patil and Jayant Patil met Pawar at his residence in Mumbai Wednesday. The NCP chief, who was in Delhi, returned to Mumbai late Tuesday and was upset over the “intelligence failure” since the Home department is headed by his party leader.

“Pawar is very upset. He made his displeasure known to his party leaders. He wondered why the state Intelligence department could not alert the government, especially when such a large number of MLAs, including ministers, were on the move,” sources said.

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An official said usually when a lawmaker who has police cover moves to another state, the Special Protection Unit (SPU) accompanying the person is expected to inform senior officers about it.

“Since the police escorts providing security also carry firearms, they are expected, as per Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), to inform superiors about the same so that there is no issue in another state,” the official said.

A senior minister, who did not wish to be named in this report, said, “Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray gets a daily briefing. Apart from that, the Home Minister is kept in the know of all important developments.”

Sena rebel leader Eknath Shinde, a minister, left Mumbai for Surat Monday with more than two dozen MLAs including three Ministers of State but it appeared that the CMO had no information about their movement.

Pawar, sources said, was appalled that the MVA leadership had been caught napping when such a large number of Sena rebels travelled from one state to another.

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