Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday, March 21, advised a special investigation, into former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh’s allegations against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh. The unprecedented emergence of controversies in Maharashtra has turned into a full-blown political crisis in the state.
Deshmukh has been accused by Singh of asking arrested API Sachin Waze to extort Rs 100 crores a month from various bars and restaurants across the city.
Commenting about the same, the NCP chief said that allegations against Deshmukh are serious. “It is the prerogative of the CM Uddhav Thackeray to take appropriate action into the allegations,” said Pawar and as he continued, “There has to be an in-depth inquiry by such an officer who enjoys full respect in police administration.”
The allegations against the Maharashtra Home Minister are serious: NCP Chief Sharad Pawar on former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh's letter to CM pic.twitter.com/3ofawNmDer
— ANI (@ANI) March 21, 2021
Furthermore, he suggested the name of celebrated police officer Julio Ribeiro to carry out the probe. Ribeiro is known to be a former Mumbai cop who became the chief of Gujarat and Punjab police and was eventually named India’s ambassador to Romania.
Meanwhile, in interaction with NDTV, Ribeiro said that he won’t be a part of any probe. “Nobody has approached me and if they do, I won’t accept any such offer. I am not an age to do such a probe, and even if I have to, I won’t because I don’t want to touch such a murky situation,” Julio Ribeiro said.
Reinstating Waze, who has now been arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection with the Antilia bomb scare, was the decision of Param Bir Singh and that not of CM or the home minister, said Pawar. The NCP chief is an important ally in the ruling Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi, who questioned the timing of Mr. Singh’s allegations.
The Maharashtra CM has the full authority to take a decision regarding an inquiry on these allegations against the Home Minister: NCP Chief Sharad Pawar pic.twitter.com/RA7OvW42H2
— ANI (@ANI) March 21, 2021
Pawar asserted that the allegations are lacking in substance and pointed out that the officer spoke only after he was moved out. “The timing of these allegations against Anil Deshmukh has to be looked into. Why now? Param Bir Singh has made all these allegations after he was transferred,” Sharad Pawar told reporters in Delhi.
The issue has strained the alliance of the ruling Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance – Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress.
The Congress said that there is a conspiracy behind the allegations against home minister Anil Deshmukh. “Attempts are being made to pull down non-BJP governments in the country. This is part of the same,” said party spokesman Sachin Sawant on Sunday.
The NCP chief in his recent media address asserted that there is no threat to the MVA government. “I don’t know whether efforts are being made or not to topple the government (Maharashtra). All I can say is they will have no impact on the government.”
Considering the current situation, the entire political ecosystem in Maharashtra has been adulterated. The BJP has reportedly targeted the MVA government, particularly Thackeray, demanding the resignation of Deshmukh.