Even though the Maha Vikas Aghadi partners have ruled out any threat to its survival following the explosive letter by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, who alleged Home Minister Anil Deshmukh of corruption, Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress will meet on Monday to discuss Deshmukh’s fate.
Chorus is loud amongst the partners for Deshmukh to resign till an impartial probe is conducted and over. Some ministers also pointed at Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Rathod, who had to resign in the wake of the serious allegations against him in connection with the death of a Tik Tok star amidst the inquiry. “So, Deshmukh should not be treated with a different yardstick and should be asked to step down. NCP chief Sharad Pawar has already said that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has the authority and it is his prerogative to institute an inquiry into the allegations levelled by Singh in his letter. The ruling partners will also discuss the possible probe,” said a senior minister.
Monday’s meeting is crucial for MVA. Pawar, on Sunday, said that NCP has not sought Deshmukh’s resignation so far. However, he added that he will consult with Thackeray and state NCP chief Jayant Patil on Deshmukh’s resignation and a decision will be taken on Monday.
Despite being targeted by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Thackeray has so far remained silent about the controversy. He is expected to clear his stand at Monday’s meeting with the ruling partners. “It must be mentioned here that Thackeray was supporting Rathod despite BJP’s attacks. However, he later took his resignation for the budget session to sail smoothly. The investigation is still on with regards to the death of Tik Tok star and the alleged links with Rathod. Deshmukh too, should step down. It will stop BJP from making further allegations,” said another minister.
After Deshmukh’s exit, NCP veteran and present Labour and Excise Minister Dilip Walse-Patil may get the Home Department. Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil and Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope are also being considered.