The head of the Nationalist Congress Party, Sharad Pawar, called the corruption allegations against Maharashtra Interior Minister Anil Deshmukh on Sunday as « serious » and said it was the prerogative of Prime Minister Uddhav Thackeray to take appropriate action in this case. </ Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh leveled the allegations in a letter to Thackeray days after he was dismissed from his post. Singh alleged that Deshmukh extorted money from bars, restaurants and shisha parlors in the city. The former police chief wrote that the suspended detective, Sachin Vaze, told him the minister had asked him to collect 100 rupees every month through illegal channels. Deshmukh has denied the allegations and said he will sue Singh for defamation.
« All of these allegations came after his [Singh] was transferred to the Home Guard, » Pawar told reporters in Delhi. “It is the prime minister’s prerogative to make an appropriate decision. It is up to the Prime Minister to take action. “
Pawar said he would suggest that Thackeray enlist the help of retired Indian police officer Julio Ribeiro to investigate Singh’s allegations. « Julio Riberio’s credibility is so great that no one can disrupt or influence his investigation, » he added. “There needs to be an in-depth investigation into the allegations. The timing of these allegations against Anil Deshmukh needs to be investigated. Why now? «
The Nationalist Congress leader said the alliance leaders would meet on Monday and take a decision on Deshmukh, who is part of his party. He added that the allegations Singh made would not affect the government by Maha Vikas Aghadi.
According to India Today, Pawar is due to meet senior ministers and party leaders in Delhi on Sunday evening, with Deputy Prime Minister Ajit Pawar and the party’s Maharashtra unit chief Jayant Patil attending the meeting.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut also said that he would meet Sharad Pawar in Delhi, PTI reported. Speaking to reporters in Mumbai, Raut said that the case had damaged the state government’s image and that one of the Allies « Introspection » is required.
« Uddhav Thackeray and Sharad Pawar are responsible for the accuracy of the letter, » said Raut. « The government of the MVA [Maha Vikas Aghadi] has now completed a year and a half and all allies must look inward when their feet are on the ground. «
The Shiv Sena leader said steps should be taken to cope with the situation and added that Deshmukh himself asked for an investigation into the case. « Uddhav Thackeray has always tried to keep the government’s image clean, » he said. “What happens because of government officials needs to be controlled at the right time. Although the state investigative authorities are under Deshmukh, he has asked the prime minister to order an investigation. “
Meanwhile, NCP leader Patil has said there is no question of removing Deshmukh as Home Secretary, the Hindustan Times reported. « The letter is in response after Maharashtra Prime Minister and Home Secretary decided to take a tough stance, » said Patil. « If we ask Deshmukh to resign now, we would do what certain people want. » On the other hand, an unidentified top alliance leader told NDTV that Deshmukh would likely be removed and that Thackeray supported the decision .
Police officer Sachin Vaze was suspended and detained by the National Investigation Agency on March 15 for his alleged role in the placement of the explosive vehicle on Carmichael Road near the residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani in Mumbai . Two days later, Singh, who was in charge of the investigation, was transferred from his position to the low-key division of the Home Guard by the state government.
On March 18, Deshmukh claimed that Singh’s transfer was not for administrative reasons, but for some « Serious and unforgivable mistake » by his colleagues.
Retired Maharashtra Police Director General Julio Ribeiro said Sunday he would not lead the investigation into allegations against Deshmukh, The Indian Express reported.
« If asked, I will decline, » he told The Indian Express. “Please understand that I am 92 years old. I do not have the ability to make such requests. Even if I had the ability, I would have refused because this is a very murky business and is not intended for people like me. “
Ribeiro added that the probe should be » made by Sharad Pawar himself « as Pawar was the party leader. “You [the party] yourself know everything and should take action. You’re going to have to do it now because people are fed up with it. “
He also refused to recommend anyone he believed could lead the investigation. « I have no intention of recommending or bringing good people into this situation, » he said. “It is a very difficult situation as, in addition to political ties, there are now murder charges against Mumbai police officers. All of this happens because of ambitious police officers and unscrupulous politicians. «
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