Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Sunday said a retired high court judge will investigate the corruption allegations levelled against him by former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh. Deshmukh said the decision was taken by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, days after he had written to him seeking an inquiry into the allegations.
Singh, who was replaced over lapses in the probe into the bomb scare at Mukesh Ambani’s residence last month, had accused Deshmukh of asking the police to collect ₹100 crore per month from bars, which had triggered a political controversy. Deshmukh, a NCP leader, had however denied the charge and said he will sue Singh for defamation.
Last week, he had said in a tweet that he has asked CM Thackeray for a probe into the allegations made against him.
Meanwhile, Sanjay Raut, MP of Shiv Sena which holds power in Maharashtra along with Congress and NCP, called Deshmukh an accidental home minister, claiming he got the post after senior NCP leaders like Jayant Patil and Dilip Walse-Patil refused the responsibility.
In his weekly column ‘Rokhthok’ in the party mouthpiece Saamana, Raut also said the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government in Maharashtra did not have damage control machinery as was seen after former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh claimed that Deshmukh asked cops to collect ₹100 crore a month.
“Deshmukh got the home minister’s post by accident. Jayant Patil and Dilip Walse-Patil refused to take responsibility. That is why Sharad Pawar selected Anil Deshmukh for the post,” Raut wrote in his weekly column.
Perhaps mindful of the fact that his remarks about a senior minister of the ruling alliance partner may be viewed in poor light, Raut later tweeted, “Bura na mano Holi hai..”
The Maha Vikas Aghadi government had no damage control machinery when Singh dropped his letter bomb, Raut said, adding that “no major leader came forward to defend the image of the government, which led people to believe in Singh’s allegations.”
IPS officials Sanjeev Bhat in Gujarat and Vaibhav Krishna in Uttar Pradesh had also raised concerns on various issues through letters written to their chief ministers, but these letters were thrown in the dustbin and instead action was taken against those officials, Raut said.
(With inputs from agencies)