File image of Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh (Image: News agency ANI)
Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh resigned on April 5 on 'moral grounds.. Deshmukh has tendered his resignation to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik confirmed.
"Party (NCP) has requested the chief minister that he should accept the resignation of Anil Deshmukhji," Malik said in a press conference,
Sources said NCP leader Dilip Walse Patil is expected to replace Deshmukh as the new home minister of Maharashtra. Six-time member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, Patil, is currently serving as minister of excise and labour department in the Uddhav Thakeray cabinet.
Deshmukh stepped down reportedly after meeting with NCP chief Sharad Pawar hours after a Bombay High Court order directed the CBI to begin a preliminary probe within 15 days into the allegations made by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.
News agency ANI also confirmed the development, attributing to NCP sources.
The high court said in its April 5 order that the central agency can decide on the future course of action after this preliminary inquiry is completed.
"Director of CBI is allowed to conduct a preliminary inquiry. Such preliminary inquiry be ordered in accordance with law and be concluded within 15 days once the preliminary inquiry is complete, director CBI (would) be at discretion to (decide on the) further course of action," the Court said.
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Former Mumbai top cop, Singh had earlier claimed that Deshmukh had asked police officers, including suspended assistant police inspector Sachin Waze, to collect Rs 100 crore each month from bars and restaurants.
In the eight-page letter to CM Uddhav Thackeray, Singh, who has now been posted as Commandant General of Home Guards, complained of "political interference" by Deshmukh.
On March 22, however, NCP chief Sharad Pawar defended Anil Deshmukh saying that Singh's allegations against Deshmukh were false in nature. Pawar said that there was no question of Deshmukh's resignation based on allegation since he had been undergoing treatment during the period he is alleged to have met inspector Sachin Waze.
Also read | Full text of ex-Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh's letter to Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray