BJP seeks Maharashtra Home minister’s resignation over travel nod to Wadhawan family, says action against official a hogwash

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Updated: Apr 10, 2020 4:40 PM

The Wadhawan family travelled from Khandala to Mahabaleshwar on Wednesday evening in their five cars. All 23 have now been placed in 'institutional quarantine' in Mahabaleshwar and were booked by the Satara police. Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan are accused in Yes Bank and DHFL fraud cases.

Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh. (Photo: Indian Express. Ganesh Shirsekar/File)

The Bharatiya Janata Party has sought the resignation of Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh over the permission granted to DHFL promoters Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan to travel from Khandala to Mahabaleshwar despite the lockdown. Senior BJP leader Kirit Somaiya alleged the involvement from high-ups in the government and sought to know on whose instructions Anil Deshmukh told Special Principal Secretary in the Home department to provide “VVIP treatment” to the Wadhawan brothers who are accused of financial fraud.

Somaiya said that the government’s decision to send the official on forced leave was mere ‘window dressing’. “Sending Amitabh Gupta on leave is nothing but window dressing. We want the resignation of Anil Deshmukh,” Somaiya said in a video statement.

The state government is facing criticism for granting nod to Wadhawans to travel in the midst of lockdown from Khandala to Mahabaleshwar. State Home Minister Deshmukh said that Gupta gave permission to the Wadhawans to travel to Mahabaleshwar. He said that the senior IPS officer will not attend office until further orders. He said that an investigation will be done to ascertain as to how permission was given for 23 members of the family to travel in the midst of a sweeping lockdown.

The Home minister earlier said the decision to send the official on compulsory leave had been taken after discussion with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. The Home minister also said that the Wadhawans will be booked under IPC sections 188, 269, 270 and 34 as well as sections under Disaster Management Act and COVID-19 regulations.

According to multiple media reports, Gupta had issued a letter exempting the Wadhawans from the lockdown rules citing a family emergency to travel from Khandala in Pune district to Mahabaleshwar, a popular hill station in Satara district. Both Pune and Satara districts are sealed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Wadhawan family travelled from Khandala to Mahabaleshwar on Wednesday evening in their five cars. All 23 have now been placed in ‘institutional quarantine’ in Mahabaleshwar and were booked by the Satara police. Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan are accused in Yes Bank and DHFL fraud cases.

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