“The timing of these allegations has to be looked into,” Sharad Pawar said.

New Delhi:
The final decision on Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh lies with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar said today. He, however, questioned the timing of the allegations against the home minister made by Param Bir Singh — the state police chief who was replaced over “unforgivable” lapses in the Mukesh Ambani security scare probe. Mr Pawar said he would suggest an independent investigation by former top cop Julio Ribeiro. A top leader of the state’s ruling alliance has told NDTV that the corruption allegation against Mr Deshmukh are “serious” and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray thinks he has to go. Mr Pawar said the alliance leaders will have a meeting tomorrow and take a decision on Anil Deshmukh, who belongs to his party.

Here are the Top 10 points in this big story:

  1. “The timing of these allegations against Anil Deshmukh has to be looked into. Why now? Param Bir Singh has made all these allegations after he was transferred,” Sharad Pawar told reporters in Delhi.

  2. “Allegations against the Home minister are serious.  There were allegations that HM had directed police to collect 100 crore. There is no information on actual transaction of money. No Information on any money being transferred to the Home Minister or his staff,” Mr Pawar said.

  3. Mr Pawar also said he would suggest Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray that an impartial investigation be held into Mr Singh’s allegations. He said he would ask that former police chief Julio Ribeiro be told to connduct the probe. “Julio Riberio’s credibility is such that no one can interfere or influence his investigation,” Mr Pawar said.

  4. Jayant Patil, Maharashtra minister and NCP’s state unit chief, has said there is “no question” of replacing Maharashtra Home Minister, indicating a rift in the alliance. “The letter (Param Bir Singh’s letter to the Chief Minister) is a reaction after Maharashtra Chief Minister and Home Minister decided to take a tough stand,” he told NDTV.

  5. The ruling alliance has landed in controversy after Param Bir Singh — replaced as Mumbai Police Commissioner over “unforgivable” lapses in the Mukesh Ambani security scare probe – accused Mr Deshmukh of corruption and interference in police work.

  6. In a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Mr Singh had said the home minister had asked several officers including Sachin Waze who has been arrested in the Mukesh Ambani case – to run an extortion racket.

  7. They were set them a target of Rs 100 crore every month and asked to collect the money from restaurants, pubs, bars and hookah parlours. The demand, he said, was made in February.

  8. Alleging that he has been made a “scapegoat”, Mr Singh wrote that the Home Minister, on several occasions, had instructed police officers on how to handle cases and file charges, bypassing him and other senior officers.

  9. Mr Deshmukh has denied the charges and said he will sue Mr Singh for defamation.

  10. Param Bir Singh was transferred to the Home Guard on Wednesday after police officer Sachin Waze arrested in the case involving a car full of explosives found near the home of Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani earlier this month. There were allegations that Sachin Waze was linked to the death of a man believed to be the owner of the explosives-filled SUV.

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