Was given offer in jail but didn’t compromise, claims NCP leader Anil Deshmukh
The former Maharashtra minister was released from jail in December after having spent nearly 14 months behind bars in an alleged corruption case.
Nationalist Congress Party leader Anil Deshmukh claimed on Sunday that he was given an offer while he was in jail that would have ended the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance two and half years ago, reported PTI.
The former Maharashtra home minister had been in jail since November 2021 after he was booked in a corruption case by the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation. He was granted bail on December 12.
“I was made an offer while in jail, which I refused,” Deshmukh said on Sunday at an event in the Wardha district. “If I had compromised [accepted the offer], the Maha Vikas Aghadi government would have fallen two-and-half years ago. But I believe in justice, so waited to be released.”
The Nationalist Congress Party, along with the Shiv Sena and the Congress had formed the alliance in 2019 after the state Assembly elections. However, the alliance fell through last year when several Shiv Sena MLAs rebelled under Eknath Shinde, who went on to become chief minister with the support of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday said that the government misused its power in Deshmukh’s case and conducted 130 raids on him and his close associates, reported The Times of India.
The government had asked Deshmukh to leave NCP and join them but he did not buckle under pressure and instead chose to face action, Pawar said. “In the recent [legislative council] elections, BJP could win only one seat. It clearly shows that people have decided to show BJP its place.”
The cases against Deshmukh were related to accusations made by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh who had written to former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in March 2021 alleging that Deshmukh had asked some officers to extort Rs 100 crore every month from bars and restaurants in the city.