Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Wednesday said the purported state intelligence department report on "corruption" in police transfers in Maharashtra, cited by BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis, lacked substance. Speaking to reporters in Delhi, Raut also defended state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, who has been facing corruption allegations from senior police officer Param Bir Singh, saying the NCP leader will continue on his post.
When asked about the report, the chief spokesperson of the Sena said, "They (Fadnavis and BJP) are not moving around with any atom bomb. It is rather a damp firecracker which does not even have a wick". On Tuesday, Fadnavis claimed the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government did not act on an "incriminating" state intelligence department report containing audio intercepts of a "large scale corruption" in police transfers and postings.
The former Maharashtra CM said he had "6.3 GB data" of the calls intercepted by then Commissioner of Intelligence Rashmi Shukla with due permissions, where names of several key police officers were discussed. He had met Union Home Secretary in Delhi and demanded a CBI probe into the said report. Raut said the "report paper" showed by Fadnavis lacked substantial material that can trouble the MVA.
He also dared the BJP to release that report in public. Raut said CM Uddhav Thackeray and the state Home department are capable of taking a decision on examining "these papers". "Fadnavis could have raised the issue with the state government which would have ensured the dignity of Maharashtra. But there is not even an iota of substance in it (the report) and hence, he came to Delhi. Delhi has the habit of bursting such damp firecrackers," Raut said.
He said there could be some officials in the state administration whose loyalty lies with the old government (led by the BJP). "They (the officials) may have prepared some reports with good intentions. The chief minister will decide what is to be done of these papers," he added. Responding to a query about NCP chief Sharad Pawar and he himself talking about the CM taking a call on Deshmukh's fate, the Sena MP said, "You (the media) have been asking this question for the past 10 days. You have not got the answer which is in your mind. Anil Deshmukh will continue to be in his post".
Taking a dig at the BJP, Raut said the Maha Vikas Aghadi is looking at the issues being flagged by the opposition party as "some entertainment and without any seriousness". "We are waiting for their next film to release," he said.
To a question about the CM's "silence" on ongoing developments, Raut said, "What is the need? What is there for the CM himself to speak on this?" Raut also termed Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari as a "worker of the BJP" as he trained guns at the latter over not approving the 12 names recommended by the state government for appointment to the Legislative Council from the Governor's quota.
The government had recommended the names in November last year. "Before becoming governor, he was a pracharak of the RSS till yesterday. He was the chief minister of BJP (in Uttarakhand). He was a minister at the Centre. So, is it insulting to call him a karyakarta? If someone calls me a worker of Shiv Sena, I will say with pride that I am a worker," Raut said.
When pointed out that Koshyari is now holding a Constitutional post, Raut said, "The one who holds a Constitutional post should ensure the dignity of that post.
Who is violating the Constitution sitting there?" Raut said Koshyari should work within the framework of the Constitution if he is "so concerned" about the dignity of his post.
"We will keep saying this (that Koshyari is a BJP worker) until the governor approves the names of 12 MLCs. That list is not being approved because of pressure from the BJP," Raut said, adding there will be criticism if the Raj Bhavan becomes a "political den".