After the Bombay High Court ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation-led preliminary probe against former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh’s charges against Anil Deshmukh, the Maharashtra Home Minister tendered his resignation from the much vaunted post on ‘moral grounds’. However, Deshmukh’s resignation is just the start and is unlikely to save the Uddhav Thackeray led Maharashtra government and many more resignations could be on the way as the CBI prepares to investigate the sensational allegations levelled by Param Bir Singh.
If there’s any truth in the massive allegations levelled by Param Bir Singh, it will be game over for the Uddhav Thackeray government and the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance.
In a major victory for Singh, the Bombay High Court asked the CBI director to conduct a preliminary inquiry within 15 days and to register an FIR if any cognizable offence is found. The Chief Justice stated that once the preliminary inquiry is complete, the director CBI is at discretion to further course of action
The honourable court also noted that since Anil Deshmukh is the Home Minister of Maharashtra, no impartial probe can be done by the police.
While reportedly, Deshmukh after tendering his resignation as the Home Minister of Maharashtra, approached senior Congress leaders and noted lawyers, Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi to challenge the decision of Bombay High Court in the country’s Apex court, it is unlikely that Supreme Court would step in and stop the CBI from conducting a preliminary probe.
The magnitude of the charges, where Singh alleged that Deshmukh was running an extortion racket with the target Rs 100 crore to be collected every month will likely sink the boat of the Maha Vikas Aghadi as the CBI prepares to investigate the allegations.
History is a witness that whenever CBI has taken up a crucial case, multiple resignations have followed as the central agency has a knack of unearthing skeletons. If Singh’s allegations were to be believed, it is difficult to digest that Deshmukh would have been acting as a lone wolf and running an alleged extortion racket worth hundreds of crores without the support from his colleagues in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.
Deshmukh’s resignation is a personal defeat for NCP supremo Sharad Pawar who fought tooth and nail to defend his staunch loyalist and even went to the extent of falsely claiming that Deshmukh was under quarantine when the purported meeting with Singh took place. Pawar may seek his pound of flesh and ask for the resignation of a Sena Minister who was perhaps aware and benefitting from the alleged extortion racket so as to ensure that blame and heat is equally shared by the Sena and NCP.
Singh in his explosive letter has also alleged that he had repeatedly highlighted the issue of Deshmukh’s extortion racket with multiple important people in the Maharashtra government, however, to little avail. Uddhav Thackeray’s stoic silence on this issue raises many questions and perhaps there are many more skeletons which are yet to be unearthed. Deshmukh’s resignation is just the start, it won’t be surprising if the Maha Vikas Aghadi now falls like a house of cards.