The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has upped the ante against the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra over corruption charges involving Home Minister and NCP leader Anil Deshmukh. Raising the issue in the Lok Sabha, Party MPs from Maharashtra demanded from Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to sack Anil Deshmukh.
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, 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.
BJP MP Rakesh Singh said that this is the first incident of the country where the Chief Minister holds a press conference in support of the Assistant Police Inspector (API) who was given a "target of Rs 100 crore".
"He (CM) says that he is the best Police personnel in the country. How does this happen?" he asked in the Lok Sabha.
Independent MP Navneet Ravi Rana questioned on what basis Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray reinstated Vaze.
"On what basis was a man suspended for 16 years and jailed, reinstated? When there was BJP government, Uddhav Thackeray himself had called up Devendra Fadnavis for reinstating Sachin Waze, Fadnavis had refused. When Thackeray government came, they reinstated him," Rana, a Lok Sabha MP from Amravati, said.
In the Rajya Sabha, treasury bench members raised the Maharashtra issue with Deputy Chairman Harivansh, who was in the Chair, asking them to allow the proceedings. Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar raised the Maharashtra issue referring to the alleged corruption in the state.
Singh, who was transferred to the low-key Home Guards on March 17 following the arrest of Vaze in the Antilia case, in a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had claimed that he was made a scapegoat. In the eight-page letter, Singh had alleged that Deshmukh used to call police officers to his official residence and give them a "collection target" from bars, restaurants and other establishments.