Anil Deshmukh has tendered his resignation as the Maharashtra Home Minister in the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government on "moral grounds" hours after the Bombay High Court ordered the CBI to carry out a preliminary probe within 15 days into former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh's allegations against him.
Sources say Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Dilip Walse Patil, who is currently serving as minister of excise and labour department, is expected to replace Deshmukh as the new home minister of Maharashtra.
Param Bir Singh, who was recently replaced as Mumbai Police chief, had alleged in a petition that Deshmukh targeted him because he had complained to Thackeray listing several allegations against Deshmukh, including extortion and illegal transfers. Singh claimed that Deshmukh had asked police officers, including assistant police inspector Sachin Waze, who has been arrested in the Antilia case and is in National Investigation Agency (NIA) custody, to collect Rs 100 crore each month from bars and restaurants. The High Court today asked the CBI to investigate the allegations.
Singh first made the allegations in an explosive letter to the Chief Minister days after his transfer following Waze's arrest in the Antilia case. The letter emerged just after Deshmukh told reporters that Singh was removed because of wrongdoings that were "unpardonable" and that he had botched up investigations into the case involving a car full of explosives found near Mukesh Ambani's Mumbai home in February.
Deshmukh, however, refuted the claims and said that Singh was making false allegations to save himself from legal action following the Ambani bomb scare case. NCP chief Sharad Pawar had also defended Deshmukh, claiming Singh’s allegations Deshmukh were false.