Maharashtra’s Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress coalition government on Thursday warned of strict action against police and administrative officers, a section of whom they alleged, might have helped the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Centre against the alliance, PTI reported.
This came a day after Maharashtra Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad alleged that the state’s former Commissioner of Intelligence Rashmi Shukla had intercepted calls of ministers in the Cabinet without permission, The Indian Express reported. Awhad made the allegations after former Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Devendra Fadnavis cited a report from Shukla. The report said that some police officials and politicians were allegedly involved in a transfer scam in the state home department, PTI reported.
“No officer will be spared if found guilty,” Deputy Chief Minister and NCP leader Ajit Pawar said, while speaking to reporters on Thursday. “Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has also asked the chief secretary to prepare a detailed report on whether some officials have erred or not. If they are found involved, they will face action.”
Pawar said the phone calls were “generally tapped only for preventing some serious action”. “It is done with the permission of additional chief secretary of home department,” he said, according to PTI. “Current Chief Secretary of Maharashtra Sitaram Kunte was the additional chief secretary then. CM has asked Kunte to prepare a detailed report on the allegations levelled by Fadnavis.”
Pawar also said that leaders of the ruling alliance have sought an appointment with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to discuss the recent developments in the state, the Hindustan Times reported.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Congress unit chief Nana Patole also spoke on similar lines in a press conference on Thursday, PTI reported. “We have come to know that there are some IAS [Indian Administrative Services] and IPS [Indian Police Services] officers who have been secretly helping the BJP-led Centre against the MVA [Maha Vikas Aghadi] government,” Patole said. “They have breached the oath of secrecy, and hence they will face action.”
Ramdas Athawale demands President’s Rule in Maharashtra
Union minister Ramdas Athawale on Thursday said that he met President Ram Nath Kovind demanding the dismissal of the Maharashtra government. He also urged Kovind to impose President’s Rule in the state.
Athawale’s demand was related to the allegations of corruption levelled by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh. “It is a serious matter...No inquiry can take place until the Maharashtra government is removed,” Athawale said, according to ANI. “He [Kovind] said that he will consider it.”
On March 20, Singh had accused Deshmukh of extorting money from bars, restaurants and hookah parlours in the city. In a letter to Chief Minister Thackeray, the former police chief wrote that suspended Crime Branch officer Sachin Vaze told him that the minister had asked him to collect Rs 100 crore every month through illegal channels.
The Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday once again attacked the ruling alliance, on this occasion, targeting Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut.
BJP leader Pravin Darekar said that while Raut demanded the resignation of his own party’s minister Sanjay Rathod over his alleged involvement in the suspicious death of a young woman last month, he was not doing the same in case of Deshmukh, PTI reported.
“Is Raut a spokesperson of the NCP or the Shiv Sena?” Darekar said.