Sharad Pawar, NCP, Mumbai Crime Branch, Sagar Barve, Pune, death threat
Sources close to Sharad Pawar claim that he had known of Ajit Pawar’s plans to join hands with the BJP for months and had “after some initial efforts at brokering a truce, given up” | File photo

Question of Anil Deshmukh’s resignation does not arise, says Sharad Pawar

Maharashtra Home Minister and senior NCP leader Anil Deshmukh's position in the government is safe for now.

Maharashtra Home Minister and senior NCP leader Anil Deshmukh’s position in the government is safe for now.

NCP top boss Sharad Pawar said on Monday evening (March 22) that Deshmukh need not resign till the charges of corruption, leveled against him by outgoing Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh, are proved.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who belongs to Shiv Sena, is in agreement with Pawar, which is a relief for Deshmukh.

The ruling Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MMA) is likely to meet late on Monday evening to discuss the Ambani bomb scare case and the subsequent developments which resulted in the transfer of Param Bir Singh.

Also read: Param Bir Singh challenges transfer in SC, seeks CBI probe against minister

Param Bir Singh, who was shunted out on March 17, wrote an explosive letter to Thackeray two days later, accusing Anil Deshmukh of pressurizing police force to “collect Rs 100 crore every day from hotels and restaurants”. Earlier on Monday, Singh moved the Supreme Court, seeking a CBI inquiry against Deshmukh.

Sharad Pawar has backed Deshmukh, basis his hospital and medical records. Anil Deshmukh was in hospital from February 5 to 15 and from February 15 to 27, he was in home isolation in Nagpur, said Pawar. Singh, in his plea with the Supreme Court, has claimed that arrested Mumbai assistant inspector Sachin Vaze had met Home Minister Deshmukh during the same period. “The question of his (Deshmukh) resignation does not arise now,” Pawar told newspersons.

Singh on Monday took his fight with Home Minister Deshmukh to the Supreme Court, seeking quashing of the state government’s “arbitrary and illegal” order transferring him to the Home Guard Department.

Also read: Pawar questions timing of top cop’s charges against Home Minister

Singh also sought a CBI inquiry into alleged corrupt malpractices of state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.

The Uddhav Thackeray government relieved Param Bir Singh of his responsibilities as Mumbai police chief on March 17, citing “serious lapses” in handling of the bomb scare incident outside Mukesh Ambani’s house. IPS Hemant Nagrale replaced Singh. The transfer was claimed to be under administrative exigencies.

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