Mumbai: Alleging a “conspiracy” to defame the Maharashtra government, senior NCP leader and state minister Nawab Malik on Monday questioned “timing” of former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh’s letter in which he accused state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh of corruption.
Malik, who is national spokesperson of the NCP, also said the party has decided that Deshmukh need not resign at this juncture. “A call on Deshmukh’s fate will be taken once probe is completed”.
On Sunday, NCP president Sharad Pawar said Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will decide the fate of Deshmukh. The allegations levelled by Param Bir Singh against Deshmukh are serious and require an in-depth probe, he had said.
A major political storm erupted in Maharashtra after Singh, who was recently shunted out as Mumbai police commissioner, wrote a letter to CM Thackeray last week claiming Deshmukh had asked Sachin Waze, currently in the NIA custody, and other police officers to collect Rs 100 crore monthly, including Rs 50 to Rs 60 crore from bars and hotels in Mumbai.
Deshmukh had denied these allegations.
“Why Singh did not issue the letter before he was transferred to the Home Guard department. He (Singh) has claimed that (Sachin) Waze met Deshmukh in the last week of February. Deshmukh was in hospital till February 15. He was in home quarantine till February 27,” Malik told a news channel.
He said Deshmukh started meeting people from February 28 after testing negative for coronavirus on February 27. “So, this letter raises doubts,” Malik added.
“The NCP has decided that any decision on the fate of Deshmukh will be taken based on outcome of probe,” he said.
Malik alleged Singh had been to Delhi and that NCP leaders have information regarding whom he met in the national capital and what discussion took place.
“……All this will definitely come up in the discussion in the time to come. A conspiracy was hatched to defame the state government,” he alleged.
On Sunday, senior NCP leaders Ajit Pawar and state unit president Jayant Patil met Sharad Pawar at his residence in Delhi when it was decided that Deshmukh will not step down.
After that meeting, Patil said there was no need to divert attention from the main incident of bomb scare outside Mukesh Ambani’s residence and the killing of Mansukh Hiran, a Thane-based businessman.
The focus is on these two events and after that appropriate steps will be taken, he had said.
The NIA is probing Waze’s alleged role in placing an explosives-laden SUV outside Ambani’s residence on February 25. The federal agency was handed over the Hiran murder case on Saturday. Hiran was the purported owner of that SUV, a Scorpio.