Patil starts stint as Maharashtra home minister with a promise and appeal in SC
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Dilip Walse Patil on Tuesday took charge as the new home minister of Maharashtra. He replaced party colleague Anil Deshmukh, who resigned after facing corruption allegations levelled by former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh.
Shortly after taking charge, Walse Patil said that the state government will move the Supreme Court against the Bombay High Court decision to order Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe against Deshmukh over Singh's allegations.
Patil also assured that there will be no political interference in police administration.
"There will be no political interference in police administration," Patil said, adding, "Our priority will be to women's safety, enactment of Shakti Act and houses to policemen."
Deshmukh handed over his resignation on Monday to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, saying he doesn't feel it right morally to continue after Bombay high court's order.
The court also directed the CBI to register an FIR in case any cognizable offence is found.
Singh, in a letter to the chief minister, accused Deshmukh of extortion and had alleged that the former minister asked suspended assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze, who is named in the murder investigation of Mansukh Hiran, to collect ₹100 crore every month from hotels and bars in Mumbai. Singh had also accused him of interfering in police investigations and of involvement in severe 'malpractices'.
The events leading to the former home minister's resignation began with the discovery of a vehicle filled with gelatin sticks outside the residence of Mukesh Ambani, the country's richest man.
The ruling Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) was increasingly facing pressure, especially from the opposition, to take concrete action in the case. Though the NCP - one of the constituents of MVA along with Congress and Shiv Sena - was backing Deshmukh, the revelations by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in Mukesh Ambani security threat case and Bombay high court order was something to be looked at seriously.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar held a meeting on Monday at his residence in Mumbai, and Deshmukh resigned shortly after that. It was widely expected that Pawar will ask him to step down.