Param Bir Singh letter: Maharashtra alliance meets today amid mounting pressure over allegations against Anil Deshmukh

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Updated: Mar 22, 2021 12:19 PM

In a sensational letter addressed to the chief minister, Param Bir Singh says that Sachin Vaze, who was heading the Crime Intelligence Unit of the Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police, was called by Anil Deshmukh to his official residence Dyaneshwar several times in last few months and repeatedly instructed to assist in collection of funds for the state Home Minister.

Uddhav Thackeray is under pressure to remove Anil Deshmukh of NCP

 

Param Bir Singh letter: The three-party coalition Maha Vikas Aghadi government led by Uddhav Thackeray has come under intense pressure to remove state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh following serious charges of extortion by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh. While the pressure is mounting on the government of Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, Nationalist Party Congress chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday said that charges against his party colleague were serious but there was no evidence of actual collection of money and that Uddhav Thackeray had the full authority to probe the allegations against Deshmukh. Sharad Pawar also said that he will meet the Maharashtra chief minister in a day or two to discuss the charges against Deshmukh.

The leaders of alliance partners will meet today to discuss Param Bir Singh’s letter that has pushed the state government into serious crisis. Balasaheb Thorat and Ashok Chavan will meet the chief minister to discuss alleged letter of the Mumbai Police Commissioner. AICC Maharashtra incharge today said that NCP chief Sharad Pawar already spoke to media and said, “we will discuss resignation as well. Whatever alternatives come, we will see, even resignation is one alternative”. However, the NCP later clarified that it will be discussed and decided but the final decision will be of the chief miniser of Maharashtra. However, the core group of MVA members will meet the chief minister today evening and it is the chief minister who will take the final decision in the matter as soon as possible.

Addressing a press conference in Delhi, Sharad Pawar yesterday said that Param Bir’s letter had come only after he was shunted out as Mumbai Police Commissioner. Pawar suggested that if Param Bir had anything of this (extortion) nature he should have spoken earlier. Pawar also said that while the letter states Deshmukh asked Sachin Vaze to collect Rs 100 crore monthly from 1750 bars operating in Mumbai, it doesn’t talk about whether that money was actually collected or transferred either to Deshmukh or any of his staff members.

On Sachin Vaze, Pawar said that it was a review committee headed by Param Bir Singh that reinstated the controversial encounter cop, not the chief minister or the state home minister. However, Leader of Opposition and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said that Pawar was speaking half truths. Technically, he said, it was Param Bir who brought back Sachin Vaze but he did it on the instruction of Uddhav Thackeray and Anil Deshmukh. Fadnavis has on many occasions said that when he was the chief minister of the state, Sena leaders had approached him to take back Vaze into service. He, upon taking legal views, decided against it. Vaze was an accused in a custodial death of Khwaja Yunus and was placed under suspension following an order by the High Court. Following his suspension, Vaze had joined Shiv Sena and was also made a spokesperson of the party.

In a sensational letter addressed to the chief minister, Param Bir Singh says that Sachin Vaze, who was heading the Crime Intelligence Unit of the Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police, was called by Anil Deshmukh to his official residence Dyaneshwar several times in last few months and repeatedly instructed to assist in collection of funds for the state Home Minister. He goes on to say that in and around mid-February and thereafter, Deshmukh had called Vaze to his official residence where one or two staff members of the Home Minister including his Personal Secretary Palande were also present.

“The Hon’ble Home Minister expressed to Shri Vaze that he had a target to accumulate Rs. 100 crores a month. For achieving the aforesaid target, the Hon’ble Home Minister told Shri Vaze that there are about 1,750 bars, restaurants and other establishments in Mumbai and if a sum of Rs. 2-3 lakhs each was collected from each of them, a monthly collection of Rs. 40-50 crores was achievable. The Hon’ble Home Minister added that the rest of the collection could be made from other sources,” Param Bair Singh states in his letter to the CM.

Today, Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik said that Param Bir Singh’s letter raising questions was written after his transfer to Home Guards. “There will be a probe (against Home Minister Anil Deshmukh). Resignation has been asked on the basis of the letter, no question it will happen. Party will take a call only after the probe.”

Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that if the NCP chief had decided that the allegations should be probed, “then what is wrong? Anyone can level any allegation”. If people take ministers’ resignation just like that then it will be difficult to run the government. Home Minister (Anil Deshmukh) said that the contents of the ‘letter bomb’ should be probed, and the chief minister should probe it. NCP chief said that it should be investigated. If the government is ready to accept the challenge of probing this, then why is the issue of resignation being raised repeatedly?” Raut said.

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