Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh resigned on Monday after the Bombay High Court ordered a CBI probe into the allegations of extortion against him by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh.
Deshmukh submitted his resignation letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, NCP minister Nawab Malik told reporters.
Deshmukh also tweeted a copy of the letter, in which he said the high court had passed an order for a preliminary probe by the CBI into the petition filed by advocate Jayshri Patil into the allegations.
“I don't have the moral right to continue in office after the court order. I have decided to quit. Kindly relieve me from my post,” Deshmukh's resignation letter said. After the court order, Deshmukh met NCP president Sharad Pawar and expressed his desire to step down as he felt it was inappropriate to continue in office after the CBI steps in, Malik said. “Deshmukh went to hand over the letter to Thackeray after Pawar gave his “green signal” to quit," Malik said.
Singh’s allegations are baseless but the party respects the court and hence the minister will quit, Malik said, adding the truth will come out.
After Deshmukh's resignation the home department will be with the chief minister, who would decide after consulting the MVA allies on who would be the new home minister, he said. There is speculation that Dilip Walse Patil, another NCP minister, may get the portfolio.
State BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said he is happy that Deshmukh has quit, adding there will be many "shocking revelations" in the CBI probe. Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad asked if Thackeray has no moral responsibility following Deshmukh's resignation as the state home minister.
"He has forfeited moral authority to govern. Democracy is run by the standards of probity and propriety," Prasad said, adding the "consistent conspicuous silence of Uddhav Thackeray is by itself raising a lot of questions". Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said the government will come out with its response after studying the Bombay High Court judgement ordering a preliminary CBI probe into the allegations.
A CBI team will reach Mumbai on Tuesday to start the process of initiating a preliminary enquiry against former Maharshtra home minister Anil Deshmukh who resigned after the Bombay High Court directed the agency to probe allegations of corruption levelled against him by former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh.