Maharashtra Home Minister resigns

    at 3:48 pm
    Anil Deshmukh

    New Delhi (NVI): Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh today resigned from the post following the Bombay High Court order of investigation into the graft charges levelled against him by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.

    NCP leader Nawab Malik said that Deshmukh handed over his resignation letter to state Chief Minister Uddav Thackeray.

    “After the Bombay High Court ordered CBI probe on the letter of former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh, Deshmukh expressed desire to step down. He submitted the resignation letter to NCP supremo Sharad Pawar who gave consent. Deshmukh then went to meet state Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and handed over the letter,” Malik said.

    The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had been demanding Deshmukh’s removal from the state government for last month after former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh alleged that Deshmukh had asked police officers including suspended Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze, who has been arrested in the SUV case and is in NIA custody, to collect Rs 100 crore monthly from Mumbai’s restaurants, bars and hookah bars.

    In the eight-page letter, Singh had alleged Deshmukh used to call police officers to his official residence and give them a “collection target” from bars, restaurants and other establishments.

    However, dismissing the allegations, the government said that these charges were part of a “conspiracy” to defame it. Pawar and Malik had also questioned the “timing” of Param Bir Singh’s letter.

    Allegations of Singh against Deshmukh and the Sachin Vaze episode have tainted the image of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.

    Vaze has been arrested by the NIA, which is probing the recovery of an explosives-laden vehicle from outside the residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani in February and also the alleged murder of businessman Mansukh Hiran, the purported owner of that SUV.