Two days after former Mumbai Commissioner of Police Param Bir Singh’s ‘letter-bomb’, the Nationalist Congress Party on Monday alleged the IPS officer of not being truthful and issued a video statement raising serious doubts on the sequence of events mentioned in the letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
NCP National Spokesperson and Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik said there were “too many” loopholes and until a full-fledged probe was carried out into all allegations raised, “there’s no question of Deshmukh’s resignation”.
Malik said that he (Singh) wrote the letter after he had been removed from the post of Mumbai CP.
“Moreover, on the relevant dates mentioned in the letter, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh was on a tour of Vidarbha from February 1-5, later he was in quarantine for coronavirus and under treatment till his Covid-19 report came negative by February 27,” Malik said.
He claimed that as soon as Singh got the inkling of his transfer on March 17, he created the WhatsApp chats on March 16 with a sense of urgency in his messages.
“There are many such questions. However, the allegations he has raised are serious so there will be a full-fledged probe into them. Until the outcome of the probe, there’s no question of Deshmukh’s resignation,” Malik asserted.
The Maha Vikas Aghadi’s other allies Shiv Sena and Congress also reiterated that Singh’s letter was “a conspiracy to destabilize the government” and ostensibly written under “pressure” from central agencies.
While Revenue Minister (Congress) Balasaheb Thorat said that the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) keeps targeting the government and different ministers, Sena’s Chief Spokesperson and MP Sanjay Raut said that the issue has “served to malign the image of the MVA”.
Late on Sunday, after a meeting between NCP President Sharad Pawar, state NCP chief Jayant Patil, state Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and others, it was decided that there was no question of Deshmukh’s quitting in the matter.
On the oppositions’ part, BJP Leader of Opposition and former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Maha Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray, and others continue to bay for Deshmukh’s scalp but Congress Spokesperson Sachin Sawant has warned the MVA “not to succumb” to the BJP’s pressures.
Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi President Prakash Ambedkar and senior BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar said they would meet Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari demanding the dismissal of the MVA government on this issue.
The former Mumbai Police chief set off a major row on Saturday when he alleged that Deshmukh had asked suspended Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze, who has been arrested in the SUV case and is in NIA custody, to collect Rs 100 crore from Mumbai’s restaurants, bars and hookah bars.