In a cryptic reply to a query on his alleged meeting with the chief of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Sharad Pawar, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said “everything cannot be made public” at a press conference in New Delhi on March 28.
There has been speculation in political circles that Shah met Pawar and Praful Patel at a top industrialist's residence in Ahmedabad on March 27. The meeting assumes significance in the wake of allegations against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, who is a leader of the NCP, by the former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh. The NCP is part of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition government in Maharashtra along with the Shiv Sena and the Congress.
In his eight-page letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Singh on March 20 claimed Deshmukh wanted police officers to collect Rs 100 crore monthly from bars and hotels. Singh had also alleged in the letter that Deshmukh had called Mumbai police API Sachin Waze around mid-February at the minister's official residence and told him to collect Rs 100 crore a month.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra minister and NCP national spokesperson Nawab Malik rubbished talk of a meeting between his party chief Pawar and Shah. He further alleged that such talk was the BJP's way of creating "confusion".
"It is completely false information deliberately pushed by some people to create confusion. It is something that BJP wants to create some confusion. Such a meeting has not taken place. There is no reason that Pawar should meet Shah," Malik said.