‘Serious Allegations But...’: Pawar, MVA To Decide Deshmukh’s Fate
Pawar suggested former Mumbai CP Julio Ribeiro should probe the case, an offer the latter said ‘he won’t accept.’
Amid rising chorus for the removal of Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh from his post, NCP Chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday, 21 March, claimed that former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh’s letter has serious allegations against Deshmukh, but added that the said letter is not signed and questioned the timing of it.
Just days after his removal as the Mumbai top cop, amid controversy over the Mukesh Ambani bomb scare case, a letter reportedly written by Singh surfaced on Saturday in which he accused Deshmukh of corruption.
While backing the Maharashtra government, Pawar suggested that an “in-depth inquiry by an officer of repute” should be conducted in the case. He proposed former Mumbai Police Commissioner Julio Ribeiro’s name for the same.
Senior members of the Maha Vika Aghadi (MVA) government are set to meet on Monday to discuss the matter and decide the fate of Deshmukh, who belongs to the NCP.
‘Timing of Allegations Should Be Probed’
Amid reports of a meeting of MVA leaders with Pawar on Monday over Deshmukh, the NCP supremo said that the final decision on the fate of the Maharashtra home minister lies with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
He said that the timing of the allegations, made by Singh, however, should also be thoroughly probed.
He further mentioned that the decision of reinstating Sachin Vaze was taken by Singh and not the state home minister.
Pawar, in the address, also suggested that an in-depth probe could be carried out by Maharashtra former police commissioner Julio Ribeiro, whose credibility was “beyond questioning.”
However, in a conversation with NDTV hours later, Ribeiro said he had not been approached formally by anybody from the government and even if they did, he would not be interested in probing such a “murky case that involves money.”
Meanwhile, speaking to ANI, NCP leader Jayant Patil said: “There is no question of Anil Deshmukh's resignation. The ATS is investigating the case and we believe the culprits will be punished.”
‘Pawar Fleeting Away From Truth’: Fadnavis
Responding to Pawar’s comments, Maharashtra Leader of Opposition and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said that the NCP leader is trying to defend his government.
“Sachin Vaze was brought back on orders of Maharashtra’s chief minister and home minister,” Fadnavis alleged.
He further said that the matter cannot be investigated till Deshmukh stays on his post and hence, for the probe to begin, the state home minister must resign.
The Story So Far
On Saturday, 20 March, former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, in an unsigned letter, accused Maharashtra Home Minister Deshmukh of corruption.
In his letter to Chief Minister Thackeray and Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Singh claimed that Deshmukh had directed Vaze to collect Rs 100 crore every month from bars, restaurants, and other establishments.
Deshmukh, on the other hand, refuted the allegations and said that Singh was making false allegations to protect himself from further legal action, in connection with the Ambani bomb scare case.
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