Shortly after Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh resigned over corruption allegations, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said targeted chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. BJP leader and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that Thackeray has lost the moral right to govern.
“I find it interesting that Anil Deshmukh has taken moral responsibility. How about responsibility of CM? Uddhav Thackeray has forfeited the moral responsibility to govern,” Prasad said.
In the resignation letter he posted on Twitter, Anil Deshmukh said that he doesn’t find it morally correct to continue as the home minister after the order of Bombay high court, which gave a go-ahead to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conduct a preliminary investigation against the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader.
The allegations were made by former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh, who said in a letter to Thackeray that Deshmukh asked suspended cop Sachin Vaze to collect ₹100 crore per month from hotels and bars in the city. Singh sent the letter to Thackeray after being transferred to Home Guards, a “low-key” post. He was shunted out after mishandling of the Mukesh Ambani bomb scare case.
Vaze was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the same case and is also being probed in connection with the death of Thane businessman Mansukh Hiran whose car was found with gelatin sticks near Ambani’s residence Antilia in Mumbai.
On Monday, Prasad questioned the silence of Maharastra chief minister on the entire issue.
“When will CM Udhhav Thackeray speak? The consistent, conspicuous silence of Uddhav Thackeray is itself raising a lot of questions. NIA is finding out new details of Sachin Vaze everyday, new details of how many cars he has,” said the Union minister.
“The BJP expects that all the ramifications of this issue ought to be investigated fairly and those who are responsible must be brought to book,” he added.
Maharashtra BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis too has attacked Thackeray, asking him to sack Deshmukh if he doesn’t resign. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which is part of the ruling Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance, has been defending Deshmukh but was under pressure, especially after the high court order on Monday.
A meeting of NCP leaders took place at party chief Sharad Pawar’s residence, and it was expected that he will ask Deshmukh to resign.
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