Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh sends resignation to CM Thackeray

Maharashtra home minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Anil Deshmukh, facing corruption allegations, sent his resignation letter to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday. This comes even as a key meeting of NCP is on at party president Sharad Pawar's residence in Mumbai to discuss the issue and decide future course of action.

Anil Deshmukh also posted a copy of the resignation letter on Twitter. In the letter, Deshmukh said he doesn't find it morally correct to continue as the home minister after Bombay high court's order. Thackeray is yet to accept his resignation.

The corruption allegations were levelled against Deshmukh by former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh. The Bombay high court on Monday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conduct a preliminary investigation against the NCP leader. The order was passed on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Singh and others.

The court observed that there won't be an independent investigation by the Maharashtra Police, which comes under Anil Deshmukh.

Singh has accused the Maharashtra home minister of running an extortion racket and asking suspended cop Sachin Vaze to collect ₹100 crore every month from various establishments of Mumbai. Singh made the allegations in a letter to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray after he was transferred to Home Guards. He was sent to the low key post for mishandling the probe into Mukesh Ambani bomb scare case.

Vaze was suspended in connection with the case, and later arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Anil Deshmukh has denied all the allegations, but opposition parties have been attacking the ruling Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government over the issue of his resignation.

Leader of the opposition Devendra Fadnavis said Deshmukh should either resign or sacked by Thackeray. He also questioned the silence of the chief minister.

Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad lashed out at Maharashtra CM after Deshmukh's resignation. "I find it interesting that Anil Deshmukh has taken moral responsibility. How about responsibility of CM?" he said.

"Uddhav Thackeray has forfeited the moral responsibility to govern," Ravi Shankar Prasad further said.

It was expected that Sharad Pawar will ask Deshmukh to resign after the meeting.