Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh resigns after HC orders probe

Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has resigned from his post hours after the Bombay High Court has ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation to conduct a preliminary investigation on the charges levelled against him by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.

NCP leader Nawab Malik announced that after the high court ruling, Deshmukh expressed his desire to resign to party chief Sharad Pawar. Following a meeting of the NCP top brass in Mumbai, Deshmukh met Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and tendered his resignation.

In his resignation letter, Deshmukh said that since the high court has asked the CBI inquiry against him, it will not be morally right for him to remain in home minister’s position.

Param Bir Singh had levelled serious allegations of malpractices by Deshmukh, which included directing Mumbai Police officers to allegedly extort Rs 100 crore a month from bars, pubs, restaurants and other establishments in the city.

The former Mumbai Police chief also accused Deshmukh of allegedly intervening in ongoing police investigations and directing officials to change the course of the probe in some cases.

The BJP too had sought Deshmukh’s exit. Former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “Now since the HC has ordered probe we demand the immediate resignation of Maharashtra HM Anil Deshmukh till the inquiry is on. If he is not willing to resign, the Chief Minister should remove him.”

Dilip Walse Patil will take charge of the home ministry. Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar will take additional charge of Patil’s Labour ministry while the latter’s other portfolio of Excise will be handled by Rural Development Minister Hasan Mushrif.