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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Fadnavis claims Anil Desmukh link to police transfer racket, demands his resignation

“Eventually, Rashmi Shukla had to go on central deputation and the ones whose names had cropped up (in connection with the racket) got plum postings,” the former CM alleged.

Written by Vivek Deshpande | Nagpur |
March 21, 2021 7:00:41 pm
Fadnavis added, “Pawar has sought inquiry by former DGP Julio Reibero. Though a respectable person, Reibero retired long ago. Can he probe the home minister?”

Former Maharashtra chief minister and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Devendra Fadnavis, trained his guns on the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition on Sunday over the fallout to an explosive letter penned by former state police chief Param Bir Singh to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray after being shunted out unceremoniously. He alleged even before the former commissioner wrote to the CM, accusing Home Minister Anil Deshmukh of financial gratification, his predecessor Sanjay Jaiswal had also furnished evidence of a transfer racket in the police department but the state government refused to act.

Addressing media persons in Nagpur on Sunday, Fadnavis said, “Jaiswal was provided with hard evidence of the transfer racket by then commissioner, Intelligence (Rashmi Shukla). He brought it to the notice of the chief minister who refused to act. In the end, an honest officer like Jaiswal had to return to central posting.”

The former CM further said that after Shukla’s report about money changing hands in the police transfer racket, some phones were put on surveillance with permission from then additional chief secretary (Home), leading to damning revelations.

“A massive transfer racket is operating in the state and the name of the home minister (Anil Deshmukh) is frequently coming up in this connection. However, the government has refused to act,” Fadnavis added.

“Eventually, Rashmi Shukla had to go on central deputation and the ones whose names had cropped up (in connection with the racket) got plum postings,” the former CM alleged.

On the press conference by NCP supremo Sharad Pawar in Delhi earlier on Sunday to address the fallout to the letter involving his party member, Fadnavis said, “Pawar says Singh is now crying foul as he has been transferred. But were Jaiswal and Shukla transferred too? I can understand Pawar. He is the architect of his government and has to defend it.”

On the former commissioner reinstating Sachin Waze, an officer of the state police who was arrested recently in connection with the probe into the Mukesh Ambani security scare case, Fadnavis said, “Was the government sleeping when he was reinstated? Why did it not stop it? Not just that, he was assigned important cases to investigate.”

Responding to Pawar’s demand for an inquiry against the former state police chief, the BJP leader said, “Why only Singh? The home minister’s role should also be probed.”

Fadnavis added, “Pawar has sought inquiry by former DGP Julio Reibero. Though a respectable person, Reibero retired long ago. Can he probe the home minister?”

On the claim that Singh is hitting out after being transferred, the Leader of Opposition said, “He had collected irrefutable evidence through WhatsApp before being removed. So, it (Singh’s allegations) must be taken seriously.”

Demanding that Home Minister Deshmukh resign before any probe is ordered, Fadnavis alleged that the Home ministry is being run by proxy by Shiv Sena’s Anil Parab. “He (Parab) has defended Desmukh in the Assembly. So, is he running the Home ministry?” he said.

Demanding that a probe in the matter also look into the big cars in Waze’s possession and who were using them, Fadnavis hinted at a bigger conspiracy at play, saying, “Are there bigger people involved?”

On being reminded that Singh was the same officer, who had given a clean chit to Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar in the irrigation scam case through an affidavit filed before Bombay High Court, and asked how credible could such an officer be, Fadnavis said, Its not a question of how credible he is. Also, the question is not about what he is saying and what he is not. He has furnished evidence of financial gratification (sought by Desmukh). So, it must be taken seriously.”

On the allegation that he is attempting to destabilise the MVA government, Fadnavis said, “They will do all the misdeeds and then blame us.”
Asked if he was seeking the Centre’s intervention in the matter, he said, “If I drag the Centre into this, I will be accused of doing politics. But there should be a court-monitored inquiry.”

However, he supported MNS leader Raj Thackeray’s demand for Centre’s intervention in the matter.

Fadnavis said that the BJP launched agitation on the issue from Sunday and it will continue till the CM receives the home minister’s resignation.

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