“We demand the Home Minister’s resignation. If he doesn’t, then the Chief Minister must remove him,” Devendra Fadnavis said on the controversy linked to Anil Deshmukh
BJP leader and former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has sought the resignation of state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh after former Mumbai Police chief alleged the ruling party’s minister “set a target to collect Rs 100 crore a month”.
Former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh in a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray made the allegations of corruption against Mr Deshmukh, who is from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), an ally of the Shiv Sena and the Congress in Maharashtra.
“We demand the Home Minister’s resignation. If he doesn’t, then the Chief Minister 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?” Mr Fadnavis, Leader of the Opposition in Maharashtra, told reporters shortly after the letter surfaced in the media.
Interacting with media on serious allegations against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh ji. (Deferred Live) https://t.co/uv98bIexF7
— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) March 20, 2021
In the letter, Mr Singh wrote: “The Hon’ble Home Minister expressed to Shri Vaze that he had a target to accumulate Rs 100 crores a month. For achieving the aforesaid target, the Hon’ble Home Minister told Shri Vaze that there are about 1,750 bars, restaurants and other establishments in Mumbai and if a sum of Rs 2-3 lakh each was collected from each of them, a monthly collection of Rs 40-50 crore was achievable. The Hon’ble Home Minister added that the rest of the collection could be made from other sources.”
Mr Singh was transferred to Home Guard and Hemant Nagrale was appointed the new Mumbai Police chief in a fallout of the investigation against police officer Sachin Waze, arrested in the case of a car full of explosives found near the home of Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man.
Mr Deshmukh had said some “unforgivable” lapses had been revealed in the Mukesh Ambani security scare probe under the police chief. In an interview to a Marathi newspaper Lokmat, Mr Deshmukh said mistakes revealed in the probe could not be condoned, so Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray decided to remove Mr Singh in the interest of fair investigation.
The investigation has become a huge embarrassment for the Maharashtra government, with the opposition BJP accusing Mr Thackeray of shielding Mr Waze, a controversial cop who was once a member of his Shiv Sena.
The case involves a Scorpio SUV carrying gelatin sticks found abandoned near Mr Ambani’s 27-storey home Antilia in Mumbai on February 25. Mr Waze was the first investigating officer in the case.