Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh has resigned, NCP minister Nawab Malik said on Monday.
After meeting with NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and offering to step down, Deshmukh reached Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray’s residence to submit his resignation.
The resignation came soon after the Bombay High Court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to conduct a preliminary inquiry within 15 days into allegations of corruption and misconduct made against Deshmukh by former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh.
Deshmukh also tweeted a copy of the letter, in which he said the high court had passed an order for a preliminary probe by the CBI into the petition filed by advocate Jayshri Patil into the allegations.
“The High Court has ordered a CBI inquiry against me. It will not be morally right for me to remain in the position of the home minister position. Therefore for a fair probe, I have decided to step down,” Deshmukh wrote in his resignation letter.
— ANIL DESHMUKH (@AnilDeshmukhNCP) April 5, 2021
— Sudhir Suryawanshi (@ss_suryawanshi) April 5, 2021
After the court order, Deshmukh met NCP president Sharad Pawar and expressed his desire to step down as he felt it was inappropriate to continue in office after the CBI steps in, Malik said.
“Deshmukh went to hand over the letter to Thackeray after Pawar gave his “green signal” to quit,” Malik said.
Singh’s allegations are baseless but the party respects the court and hence the minister will quit, Malik said, adding the truth will come out.
“The state government has already ordered a probe by a retired judge into the claims but we respect the judiciary and after the court orders, Deshmukh himself said he doesn’t wish to continue,” Malik said, referring to his party colleague.
After Deshmukh’s resignation the home department will be with the chief minister, who would decide after consulting the MVA allies on who would be the new home minister, he said.
There is speculation that Dilip Walse Patil, another NCP minister, may get the Home portfolio.
State BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said he is happy that Deshmukh has quit, adding there will be many “shocking revelations” in the CBI probe.
“Those who make mistakes should be punished or else democracy won’t be strengthened.
Many skeletons will tumble out after the 15-day CBI preliminary probe,” he said.
In Param Bir’s letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, days after he was transferred as Mumbai police chief before the end of his term, he alleged that Deshmukh had given a target to collect Rs 100 crore from bars and restaurants to Mumbai police officer Sachin Waze.
Deshmukh had denied the allegations.
(With PTI inputs)