Pawar to take a call on Deshmukh

Allies meet amid political turmoil in Maharashtra over former Mumbai police chief’s “serious” allegations

geetanjali

Geetanjali Minhas | March 21, 2021 | Mumbai


#corruption   #crime   #Mumbai   #Maaharashtra   #Uddhav Thackeray   #Sharad pawar   #Anil Deshmukh   #MVA   #NCP   #Shiv Sena   #Congress  
Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh
Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh

Amid political turmoil in Maharashtra over allegations made by the former Mumbai police chief, the ruling coalition allies met NCP chief Sharad Pawar late Sunday, leaving the fate of home minister Anil Deshmukh to in his hands.
 
Former Mumbai police commissioner Parambir Singhs in a letter to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray three days after he was transferred as DG, Home Guards, has shaken the MVA government. The crisis has been unfolding since a car with explosives was found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s home, Antilia, at Altamount Road in south Mumbai. Singh has accused Deshmukh of corruption, malpractices and political interference.

Pawar told media in Delhi earlier in the day that the allegations were “serious” in nature, but also added that the timing of the allegations has to be looked into. “Why Now? These allegations have been made after Singh’s transfer to the home guard department.”

He also said that the officer at the centre of the controversy, Sachin Vaze (who now has now been arrested by NIA in the Antilia bomb case and the death of businessman Mansukh Hiran), was reinstated after after 16 years of suspension by Singh and not Deshmukh or the chief minister.  

Pawar also said that that retired IPS officer, Julio Ribeiro, would be the right person to investigate Singh’s claims. “Ribeiro’s credibility is such that no one can interfere or influence his investigation,” he said. (Ribeiro, however, is reported to have declined.)

The NCP chief then said it was now the chief minister call to take appropriate action. However, by evening, alliance leaders were in meeting and urged the veteran leader to decide on Deshmukh, who is from his party.

Singh on Saturday in an eight-page letter to the CM said Deshmukh had given him a target of Rs 100 crore collections  per month from 1,750  pubs, restaurants, bars and hookah parlours in the city, a task which was assigned to the suspended assistant  police  inspector, Vaze. Singh has alleged that “bypassing him, Deshmukh called his officers directly to his official residence at Dyaneshwar for giving instructions to adopt a specific course of action in police investigations. These acts of political interference are illegal and unconstitutional and courts in our country including the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India have in the past come down heavily on such acts of interference in police investigations.”

Deshmukh Saturday said he would file a defamation case against Singh and that investigation in the bomb case were pointing to Singh’s close links with Vaze from which he was trying to escape.   

The letter has created a political crisis for the three-party ruling alliance and their leaders were reacting in different voices. The Sena has been supporting Vaze and also praised Singh for his work in Dharavi during Covid-19 and the handling of the TRP scam. Deshmukh has accused Singh and Mumbai police of unpardonable mistakes.

Sanjay Nirupam of the Congress said Pawar is the architect of the ruling coalition. “Is it what the so-called third front is going to do finally? Congress must take a stand on this,” he said.    

Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson Sachin Sawant said that BJP had conspired against the MVA government by putting officials under pressure from central agencies. Singh could be under pressure from central agencies as his close aide, Vaze, is in NIA custody, he said. He wondered how BJP leaders got secret information in a planned and advanced manner. He said Singh’s letter appeared to be an afterthought. Sawant also said that a month ago Deshmukh had said that some officials were under pressure.

Opposition leaders have been calling for removing Deshmukh for a fair probe into allegations and alleged the MVA government was corrupt. Former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “We demand the home minister's resignation. If he doesn't, then chief minister Thackeray must remove him. An impartial probe must be conducted. The letter also says the chief minister was informed about this earlier, so why didn't he act on it?”

Raj Thackeray of MNS said Singh's letter is explosive and very damaging for Maharashtra's image. He said Deshmukh needs to immediately submit his resignation and a thorough investigation too needs to be made.

All top Sena, NCP and Congress leaders were in Delhi, holding a meeting with Pawar. If he decides to sack Deshmukh, reports indicate the home portfolio may go to Dilip Walse Patil, minister of labour and excise. The names of health minister Rajesh Tope and cabinet minister Jayant Patil are also being speculated for the sensitive department. Patil however has said that Deshmukh should stay and asking him to resign would only satisfy “certain” people.

Comments

 

Other News

Making sense of the ‘crisis of political representation’

Imprints of the Populist Time By Ranabir Samaddar Orient BlackSwan, 352 pages, Rs. 1105 The crisis of liberal democracy in the neoliberal world—marked by massive l

Budget: Highlights

Union minister of finance and corporate affairs Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2023-24 in Parliament on Wednesday. The highlights of the Budget are as follows: PART A     Per capita income has more than doubled to Rs 1.97 lakh in around

Budget presents vision for Amrit Kaal: A blueprint for empowered, inclusive economy

Union Budget 2023-24, presented by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Parliament on Wednesday, outlined the vision of Amrit Kaal which shall reflect an empowered and inclusive economy.  “We envision a prosperous and inclusive India, in which the fruits of development reach all regions an

Soumya Swaminathan to head M S Swaminathan Research Foundation

Former World Health Organisation (WHO) chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan takes charge as chairperson of M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) from February 1.   Founded by her father, the legendary agricultural scientist M S Swaminathan, MSSRF was set up to accelerate the use of m

m-Governance: Key to Digital India

The digital revolution is being led by India. Digital governance is a key component of the government's ambition to transform India into a society where everyone has access to the internet. It includes both M-governance and E-governance, which are major methods for the delivery of services via mobile devic

A sacred offering of the beauty of ‘Saundarya Lahari’ – in English

Saundarya Lahari: Wave of Beauty Translated from the Sanskrit by Mani Rao HarperCollins, 218 pages, Rs 399 ‘Saundarya Lahari’, usually ascribed to Adi Shankaracharya, has a unique status among the religious-spiritual works of Hinduism.

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter