Anil Deshmukh resigns

Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh resigns

Ever since Param Bir Singh’s letter bomb became public, the writing was on the wall. But it took more than two weeks for the 16-month-old Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra a kick from the state High Court to pull itself out of slumber and swing into action. And swing it did with the Home Minister Anil Deshmukh sending his resignation to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

Deshmukh, member of the NCP and well protected by the NCP supremo Sharad Pawar could not continue. NCP suffered its first blow in the three party ruling alliance with Shiv Sena and Congress, when the Home Minister resigned hours after the Bombay High Court ordered the CBI to hold preliminary enquiry into former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh’s allegations against Deshmukh running an extortion wing.

Partam Bir Singh had gone directo to the Supreme Court to seek CBI probe into the allegations he had made against Sachin Vaze and Home Minister Anil Deshmukh of running extortion racketeering operation to collect Rs 100 Crore every month.

From the time of allegations against him becoming public, Anil Deshmukh had deflected calls for his resignation pointing the finger back at accuser Paqram Bir Singh – who was removed from the post of Mumbai Police Commissioner and relegated back to head the state Home Guards. The Home minister had used the theor of ‘sour grapes’ blaming Param Bir for making fake allegations after he (Param Bir Singh) had been pushed over.

In doing so, Anil Deshmukh quite unashamedly resisted calls for his resignation arguing why should anyone be expected to resign over a disgruntled police man’s allegations.

When the Mumbai High Court pushed him, Anil Deshmukh shrouded himself with morality and tendered his resignation. The Mumbai High Court in its order said:

“… Shri Deshmukh is the Home Minister. The police

department is under his control and direction. There can be no fair,

impartial, unbiased and untainted probe, if the same were

entrusted to the State Police Force. As of necessity, the probe has

to be entrusted to an independent agency like the CBI.”

Anil Deshmukh and the NCP have vehemently denied any wrongdoing. The NCP chief Sharad Pawar repeatedly defended Anil Deshmukh and questioned Param Bir Singh’s timing  of making the allegations. Param Bir Singh, according to the so-called “letter bomb” – knew of the content of his allegations but made them public weeks later, only after he was transferred out of the coveted job of Mumbai police commissioner. Although it seems and sounds incoongurous – but media analysts suggest Param Bir was transferred for botching up the probe of who was responsible for planting of gelatine sticks in an SUV outside industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence in Mumbai followed by death of the SUV owner.

Although the resignation has been rushed by the Court’s view of the probe, it has come only days after the purported meeting between Sharad Pawar and Home Minister Amit Shah in Ahmedabad, which neither side denied having taken place.

Dilip Patil of NCP is likely to take over from Anil Deshmukh.