The ruling Shiv Sena in Maharashtra on Monday strongly defended state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh after former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh accused the NCP leader of corruption. Addressing the media, party's spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut lambasted the opposition BJP for demanding Deshmukh's ouster. He, however, favoured that allegations against Deshmukh should be probed.
"HM (Anil Deshmukh) said that the contents of 'letter bomb' should be probed, CM should probe it. NCP chief said that it should be investigated. If the govt is ready to accept the challenge of probing this, then why is the issue of resignation being raised repeatedly (by the opposition BJP)," he told reporters.
"If NCP chief has decided that the allegations should be probed, then what is wrong? Anyone can level any allegation. If people take ministers' resignation just like that then it will be difficult to run the government," Raut added.
He also warned the opposition BJP against making attempts to destabilise the Maha Vikas Aghadi government of the ShivSena-NCP-Congress in the state.
"If someone is attempting to get President's Rule imposed in Maharashtra by misusing central agencies, then I am warning them - you yourself will get burnt in that fire," he alleged.
Meanwhile, senior NCP leader and Cabinet minister Nawab Malik said that there will be a probe against Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.
"Resignation has been asked on basis of letter, no question that it will happen. Party will take a call only after probe," Malik said.
Earlier on Sunday, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, state unit NCP chief Jayant Patil, and Sanjay Raut separately met NCP supremo Sharad Pawar in Delhi in view of allegations of corruption against Anil Deshmukh. The meetings took place hours after Pawar told reporters that Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will decide the fate of Deshmukh.
Singh has claimed Deshmukh wanted police officers to collect Rs 100 crore monthly from bars and hotels in Mumbai. Deshmukh had denied these allegations as baseless.
Allegations of Singh against Deshmukh and the Sachin Vaze episode have dented the image of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in the state. 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.