NCP supremo Sharad Pawar has said that allegations against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh needs to be probed in detail and categorically ruled out the BJP's demand to sack him. Addressing the media in Delhi, Pawar said that Deshmukh didn't talk to Sachin Vaze, who has been arrested in the explosives-laden SUV case and is in NIA custody, between February 5 and February 15 as the minister was undergoing treatment for coronavirus infection.
"If you see the former Mumbai Police Commissioner's letter, he mentions that in mid-February he was informed by certain officers that they got such and such instructions from Home Minister... Deshmuklh was admitted in the hospital because of corona," Pawar said.
"It is clear that during the period about which the allegations were made, Anil Deshmukh was hospitalised. As this is clear, such demands hold no power," he replied when asked about BJP's demand of Maharashtra Home Minister's resignation.
Former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh set off a major row on Saturday when he alleged that Deshmukh had asked suspended Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze to collect Rs 100 crore from Mumbai's restaurants, bars and hookah bars. Vaze was arrested by the NIA, which is probing the recovery of an explosives-laden vehicle from outside the south Mumbai residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani last month and also the alleged murder of businessman Mansukh Hiran, the purported owner of that SUV.
The opposition BJP in Maharashtra has demanded from CM Uddhav Thackeray to sack Anil Deshmukh. However, the MVA has made it clear that the minister will continue on his post.