Anil Deshmukh writes to Uddhav Thackeray to probe corruption charges against him
Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh, facing the opposition heat over corruption allegations, wrote a letter to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday. Deshmukh shared the letter shortly after midnight on his Twitter handle in which he asked Thackeray to investigate the corrupt malpractices allegations levelled against him by former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh.
"I have asked the chief minister to inquire into the allegations made against me by (former Police Commissioner of Mumbai) Param Bir Singh to bring out the truth," according to the translation of his tweet from Marathi.
"If the chief minister inquires the matter, I would welcome it. Satyamev Jayate," he added. He said in the accompanying tweet that this will separate wheat from chaff.
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Singh wrote a letter to Thackeray last Saturday in which he accused Deshmukh of running a “money collection scheme” through the police. Singh said that Deshmukh asked Sachin Vaze - a cop arrested in connection with the Mukesh Ambani security threat case - to collect ₹100 crore a month from various establishments in Mumbai through extortion.
Though Deshmukh denied all the allegations, Singh's letter triggered a political storm in Maharashtra. The constituents of Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi Alliance (MVA) - Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress - met for several rounds of meetings to find out a solution to the crisis.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar, who has been the chief crisis manager for MVA, stood behind his party colleague Deshmukh; other NCP leaders ruled out Deshmukh's resignation. But the entire issue gave ammo to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which attacked the Thackeray government, demanding Deshmukh's resignation.
The BJP attack is being led by former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis who met the Union home secretary and Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. While Fadnavis said he gave evidence on Deshmukh to the Union home secretary, the governor was asked to send a report to the Centre.
Meanwhile, a senior MVA leader told Hindustan Times that the state government has decided to form a judicial commission to look into the allegations levelled against Deshmukh. The decision was taken in a meeting of senior ministers held at Varsha, official residence of chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, late on Wednesday evening, the minister added.
An official announcement is likely to be made on Thursday.