Mumbai: The Nationalist Congress Party, a key partner in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, ruled out the possibility of resignation or removal of Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Monday, after the arrest of Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze in connection with the Antilia bomb scare case and the ongoing NIA and Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) investigations. State NCP President Jayant Patil said Deshmukh had been doing a fine job and there was no question of his resignation. Further, Patil also scoffed at rumours of a reshuffle in the state cabinet.
The NCP has brushed off the BJP’s demand for Deshmukh’s resignation, saying that the ATS is currently investigating the Mansukh Hiran death case while the NIA is probing the bomb scare at the Ambani residence. “After investigations by these two agencies are done, the culprits will be punished and there is no question of protecting any one,” said Patil. He further added, “The Maha Vikas Aghadi partners Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress are unanimous on this.’’
Patil reiterated, “Deshmukh will continue as the home minister. There is no need to spread rumours on his resignation. There is no question of asking Deshmukh to resign, as he is doing his work well,” he declared.
Earlier, NCP chief Sharad Pawar held a meeting with party ministers to review organisational works, their performance and also discuss the political situation in the state and country. Deshmukh separately met Pawar, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and state NCP chief Jayant Patil and briefed them on the turn of events after the gelatin sticks-laden Scorpio was found near the Ambani residence and the arrest of Vaze. “Pawar’s advice to Deshmukh was that the government would not shield anyone and those found guilty in the ongoing investigations would be punished,” said a senior minister.
Meanwhile, Pawar met Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and discussed various issues, including the bomb scare and Vaze’s arrest. Sources said minutes after their meeting, the additional commissioner of police issued an order to suspend Vaze.