Amid a heated political environment in the state, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Sharad Pawar’s close aide Dilip Walse Patil will be replacing Anil Deshmukh as the Home Minister of Maharashtra.
The development comes after Deshmukh resigned from the post on Monday, 5 April, following a preliminary probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) being ordered against him by the Bombay High Court.
The Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) on Monday sent a letter to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, asking him to accept Deshmukh’s resignation. The letter mentioned that Patil will be given charge of the home ministry.
The letter also mentioned that Patil will hand over the additional charge of the Labor Department to Hasan Mushrif and the State Excise Department to Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Ajit Pawar.
Who is Dilip Walse Patil?
One of the senior-most leaders of the NCP, Patil began his career as a personal assistant to Sharad Pawar. Patil is a six-time MLA from the Ambegao constituency of Pune.
Between 1999 and 2009, Patil has held several portfolios like Finance and Planning, Energy, Higher Technical and Medical Education.
Patil was the pro tem Speaker of the Maharashtra Assembly after the Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP government fell in 2019. He is considered a veteran with regards to the functioning of the Maharashtra Assembly.
He was reportedly the first choice for the post in 2019 after the government was formed but he had rejected it citing health reasons.
CBI Probe Against Deshmukh
The Bombay HC on Monday directed a preliminary inquiry by the CBI into the allegations against Deshmukh. The court ordered for the investigation to be completed within 15 days and decide on the course of action thereon.
The HC order came over former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh’s plea levelling allegations of corruption and other malpractices against Deshmukh.
The court on 31 March had heard three other petitions other than Singh’s regarding the matter – a writ petition by Advocate Jaishri Patil and criminal PILs by advocate Ghanshyam Upadhyay and Chartered Accountant Mohan Bhide.
However, the CBI need not register an FIR immediately or take up Patil’s complaint before it conducts an independent enquiry, the HC said.
Meanwhile, sources told The Quint that Deshmukh is likely to challenge the HC order in the Supreme Court and has reached Delhi to meet top lawyers for the same.