MUMBAI: The Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, who is architect of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, on Sunday said the decision on resignation of Home Minister Anil Deshmukh will be taken by Monday after seeking advice from Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and state NCP chief Jayant Patil. So, the ball is now in Thackeray’s court whether to sack Deshmukh.
However, Pawar has called upon the state government to hold a special investigation into former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh's allegations against Deshmukh terming these charges as ‘serious’ and suggested that such a probe can be conducted by former Mumbai top cop Julio Ribeiro. He noted, "Julio Riberio's credibility is such that no one can interfere or influence his investigation."
But the NCP leader was more partisan when he said: ''The timing of these allegations against Anil Deshmukh has to be looked into. Why now? Param Bir Singh has made all these allegations after he was transferred."
''Singh’s letter was a reaction to the tough stand taken by the Maharashtra Chief Minister and the Home Minister,’’ he further noted trying to put the outburst in perspective.
Pawar further claimed the letter bomb 'exploded' after the Delhi visit of Singh and leader of opposition Devendra Fadnavis, almost suggesting by innuendo that there was more to the disclosures than meets the eye.
The NCP leader further said the decision to reinstate the suspended assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze was taken by Singh and not by the chief minister and the home minister.
Pawar admitted Singh had met him before his transfer and discussed the Antilia bomb scare case and how injustice was being meted out by shifting him as the Mumbai Commissioner of Police.
''There are allegations that the Home Minister had directed the police to collect Rs 100 crore. But there is no information about any actual transaction. There is no information about any money being transferred to the Home Minister or his staff," said Pawar.
'‘Singh had complained about political interference in the police department. He spoke of reports about his transfer, saying it would be an injustice to him,’’ said Pawar. However, he added that Singh made the allegations after his transfer on March 17 to the Home Guards.
Pawar claimed there were efforts to destabilize the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. '‘However, Singh's allegations have had no impact on the MVA government. Any efforts to destabilise the state government will prove futile,'' he added.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut admitted that the allegations made by Singh against Deshmukh and in the Vaze case have dented the image of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in the state. However, he said all the MVA allies need to introspect whether their feet are on the ground.