Speaking to the press, shortly after Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Anil Deshmukh on Monday, 5 April, resigned from the post of Maharashtra Home Minister, Leader of Opposition in the state Devendra Fadnavis asked why Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was silent on the development.
Fadnavis also said:
“Anil Deshmukh should have resigned earlier. We demanded his resignation right from the beginning of this case.”Devendra Fadnavis, Leader of Opposition
Meanwhile, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also hit out at Thackeray, casting a slew of aspersions, including that the “consistent and conspicuous silence” of the CM was raising questions.
Anil Deshmukh’s resignation, on Monday, came hours after the Bombay High Court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conduct a preliminary inquiry into the corruption allegations levelled against him by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.
‘Why is the CM Silent?’
Speaking to the press, Fadnavis asked:
“Why did the chief minister keep silent all throughout this whole episode?”
He also alleged that the last time Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray spoke was to “defend Sachin Vaze” by saying that “he is not Osama Bin Laden”.
Fadnavis said that the recent developments in the state pertaining to Anil Deshmukh were bound to ensue. The CM alleged that this was because the police force was being misused as a syndicate for ‘hafta wasooli’.
He also made the following claims:
- “When the CBI investigating any case finds money laundering or violations of FEMA, FERA rules, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) will naturally step in.”
- “This investigation will not be limited to Anil Deshmukh but many faces will be uncovered in further probe.”
- “I’ve always said that the MVA government will fall due to its own differences. We don't need to do anything. However, this government has lost its credibility on constitutional terms.”
Prasad Hits Out at Thackeray, Pawar
Meanwhile, Union minister Prasad questioned Thackeray’s “morality.”
“As HM has resigned on moral grounds, we ask where is CM Uddhav’s morality gone? Even CM has lost all the morality to rule the state.”Ravi Shankar Prasad
“The BJP expects that all the ramifications of this issue ought to be investigated fairly, properly and those involved must be brought to book,” he added.
He went on to unleash barbs at NCP chief Sharad Pawar as well, saying, “Sharad Pawar is a senior political leader of the country. He ought to have understood the implications of giving a complete clean chit to Anil Deshmukh.”
Anil Deshmukh’s Resignation
In his letter to CM Uddhav Thackeray, Deshmukh said:
“The Bombay High Court on 5 April, 2021, on the basis of the plea by advocate Jayshree Patil, ordered for a preliminary investigation by the CBI against me. In the backdrop of the order, it doesn’t morally suit me to continue as the home minister. Hence, I have decided to step down from the post. I request you to relieve me from the same.”
Singh has accused Deshmukh of corruption and meddling in the police force’s functioning and transfers.