Updated: March 21, 2021 4:20:51 pm
NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday said former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh had told him there was political interference in his department.
“The allegations raised by former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh are serious,” he said.
In an eight-page letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Singh had alleged that Deshmukh had asked Assistant Inspector Sachin Waze, arrested by the NIA in the Mukesh Ambani bomb scare case, to collect Rs 100 crore every month, including Rs 40-50 crore from some 1,750-odd bars and restaurants in Mumbai.
Pawar said he would suggest Thackeray to appoint former IPS officer Julio Ribeiro to inquire into these allegations. “The Maharashtra Chief Minister has full authority to take a decision regarding an inquiry into the allegations against the Home Minister,” he said.
It was Param Bir Singh who had decided to reinstate Assistant Inspector Sachin Waze into the force last year, Pawar said. “Param Bir Singh is making wild allegations because he was removed as Mumbai Police Commissioner,” he added.
Pawar informed that efforts are on to destabilise the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government in Maharashtra but all such attempts will prove futile. “I don’t know whether efforts are being made or not to topple the government (Maharashtra). All I can say is that these will have no impact,” he added.
On whether Deshmukh should continue as Home Minister, Pawar said the decision lies with CM Thackeray.
Reacting to Pawar’s statements, BJP leader and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, while reiterating his party’s demand of the Home Minister’s resignation, said an impartial probe will not be possible till Anil Deshmukh is in office. “Sharad Pawar created this government in Maharashtra and hence he is defending them. Sachin Waze was brought back to service following orders from the Maharashtra Chief Minister and Home Minister. The NCP chief is just trying to wash his hands off the matter,” Fadavis added.
The Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra further said that before Param Bir Singh, Maharashtra DG Subodh Jaiswal had also submitted a report to Maharashtra Chief Minister regarding corruption over police transfers. “However, Uddhav Thackeray never did anything about it and Jaiswal had to resign,” Fadnavis added.
BJP National General Secretary CT Ravi, too, hit out at the Maharashtra government, demanding a CBI probe into the matter. “I think Maharashtra is governed by ‘Maharashtra Vasooli Aghadi’. It is shameful that the Home Minister is taking directions from an NCP minister. We demand Deshmukh’s resignation at the earliest,” Ravi added.
The explosive contents of the eight-page letter to the Chief Minister, in which Singh attacks Deshmukh, are not linked to the Antilia security case, but he suggests at the end of the letter that he had to pay the price for resisting the Home Minister’s “interference” in the work of the Mumbai police force.
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