Amidst the controversy over the arrest of Mumbai Police official Sachin Waze in connection with a probe into the recovery of explosives from a car near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's residence, Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh and health minister Rajesh Tope are in Delhi to meet the NCP supremo Sharad Pawar.
Amid rising attacks from the BJP and pressure from its ruling partners, the NCP and the Congress, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government on Wednesday, in a major reshuffle, shunted out Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, replacing him with Hemant Nagrale, who was the acting director general of police (DGP). Singh will now be director of the low-profile Home Guards.
Singh’s transfer came days after the state government faced a fusillade for its mishandling of the Antilla bomb scare case and also for shielding the controversial police officer Sachin Vaze, who has been arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the matter.
Anti-Corruption Bureau Director Rajnish Seth has been given additional charge as Maharashtra DGP, while Sanjay Pandey will be the new director of the Maharashtra State Security Corporation. The reshuffle was announced by the Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.
The decision to transfer Singh was taken after a series of meetings. On Monday, NCP Chief Sharad Pawar, the architect of the MVA government, at an hour-long meeting with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, made a strong case for Singh’s immediate removal, citing that he could not pose himself as bigger that the government.
On Tuesday, Thackeray met the ruling partners represented by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil (NCP) and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat (Congress). They reached an understanding that Singh should be transferred at the earliest, to repulse the BJP attack that the government was shielding him. The ruling partners also expressed serious concerns over the serious lapses in handling the bomb scare and the Hiran death case by Singh and his team.