Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Supremo Sharad Pawar has summoned Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and party chief Jayant Patil to Delhi on Sunday to discuss the fallout of the allegations against the party leader and Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.
This comes in the wake of the pressure building within the alliance of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) that Deshmukh should quit after the allegations were levelled against him by the former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh. The BJP has also called for his removal.
Sources within the alliance say that allegation is a very serious one and only face saver would be his resignation but final call on the issue will be taken by Sharad Pawar.
The NCP has called its senior leaders meeting to take a final step on it. Till now the NCP has been in defending mode but clarity will come only after the NCP Chief takes a final decision on it.
Deshmukh has denied the charges and said on Saturday that he will sue Singh for defamation.
In a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Param Bir Singh had said that the home minister had asked several officers, including Sachin Vaze to run an extortion racket and were given a target of Rupees 100 crore every month and asked to collect the money from restaurants, pubs, bars and hookah parlours.
While rejecting Singh’s allegations that the state home minister sought extortion money, Deshmukh alleged that Singh was levelling false allegations against him to save himself.
Taking strong umbrage at Deshmukh’s remarks that Singh’s transfer as Commandant-General of Maharashtra Home Guards was not for administrative purposes but for “unpardonable lapses” by his team, the former Mumbai top cop shot off an eight-page missive to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, saying he was made a “scapegoat” for “extraneous and vindictive reasons”.