‘Accidental Home Minister’: Raut on Deshmukh Amid Corruption Row
In an editorial for Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece Saamana, Sanjay Raut attacked Deshmukh for rousing certain officials.
The Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi-led Maharashtra government has been caught up in yet another political storm after the former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh alleged corruption charges against the state’s Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.
In an editorial for the the Shiv Sena mouthpiece, Saamana, Sanjay Raut called Deshmukh an ‘accidental Home Minister,’ attacking him for needlessly rousing certain officials. He went on to allege that the Opposition was in a hurry to topple the Uddhav Thackeray government following the controversy.
The Shiv Sena leader had earlier supported the stance of Sharad Pawar, the chief of Nationalist Congress Party – currently in alliance with the ruling Shiv Sena – against the resignation of Deshmukh.
“If the NCP chief has decided that the allegations should be probed, then what is wrong? Anyone can level any allegation. If people demand a minister’s resignation anyhow, it will be difficult to run the government,” Raut told ANI, supporting the decision to probe Singh’s allegations.
Raut Attacks Deshmukh, Questions Vaze’s Role
“Deshmukh got the home minister’s post by accident. Jayant Patil and Dilip Walse-Patil refused to take responsibility. That is why Sharad Pawar entrusted this post to Anil Deshmukh,” Raut writes.
Stating that the post comes with ‘dignity and status,’ and ‘fear’, he said that “no person sitting on the post of Home Minister of the state can work amid suspicion.”
He also raised questions on the role of Sachin Vaze and his involvement in the corruption racket as alleged by Singh. The Mumbai Police is already infamous, Raut added.
Calling Vaze a ‘mere assistant police inspector,’ Raut questions, “who gave him so much powers? Whose favourite was he?”
“A collection racket was being run from the Mumbai Police Commissioner’s office, why was the home minister not aware of it?” he further writes.
He adds that Deshmukh had unnecessarily roused officials by coming on camera and ordering an investigation.
“The home minister should speak less,” Raut adds, “the job is not only for accepting salutes but for giving a strong leadership.”
Governor, BJP Waiting For Thackeray Govt’s Dismissal
Raut goes on to write that “not a single important minister came forward in the defense of Maharashtra government,” after the corruption charges came to light.
“Initially, people felt that Parambir’s charge was right because the government did not have any system for ‘damage control.’”
He adds, that while his (Param Bir’s) allegations were initially strong, later they proved to be false. “If the government starts falling due to such allegations, then the Modi government at the Centre will have to go first.”
He further alleges that the Governor of Maharashtra, Bhagat Singh Koshyari, is waiting for the Thackeray government to leave as BJP leaders also demand for its dismissal.
“It has been six months since the government sent the list of 12 MLAs to be nominated by the Governor. But Governor Koshiyari is waiting for the Thackeray government to leave. This is a violation of the constitution,” Raut writes.
The controversy unfolded after the Mumbai Police uncovered gelatin sticks from a vehicle parked close to Mukesh Ambani's residence, Antilia. API Sachin Vaze, who was initially heading the case was arrested by the National Investigation Agency, after the owner of the said vehicle, Mansukh Hiren was found dead.
Vaze was then suspended from the force in midst of the investigation. Meanwhile, Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh was transferred to the Home Guard.
On 20 March, an unsigned letter from Singh to Chief Minister Thackeray and Maharashtra Governor Koshyari surfaced, where he levels charges of corruption against the Home Minister Deshmukh.
He claimed that Deshmukh had directed suspended API Vaze to collect Rs 100 crore every month from bars, restaurants, and other establishments.
Deshmukh on his part refuted these allegations, and on Sunday, 28 March, days after the Maharashtra government had ordered a probe into the charges, he stated, “the truth in the entire matter will come before the people.”
“In the last Cabinet meeting, I had asked chief minister to investigate the allegations levelled against me by former Mumbai police commissioner. He has agreed to it and the probe will be done by a retired high court judge,” Deshmukh said, according to the Hindustan Times.
(With inputs from Hindustan Times, PTI)
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