Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh   |  Photo Credit: PTI
- The article is written by Saamna’s Executive Editor and Sena’s MP Sanjay Raut
- The home minister’s job is not only for accepting salutes, the article said
- Anil Deshmukh is facing heat over corruption charges
Mumbai: Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, who has been facing heat over corruption charges, got the position by accident and “forgot that strong leadership requires honesty”, an article in the Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece, Saamna, said on Sunday.
The article, written by Saamna’s Executive Editor and Sena’s MP Sanjay Raut, claimed that Deshmukh, an NCP leader, got the post after senior party leaders like Jayant Patil and Dilip Walse-Patil refused the responsibility.
Raut, who is the party’s Rajya Sabha member, also said the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government in Maharashtra did not have damage control machinery as was seen after former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh claimed that Deshmukh asked cops to collect Rs 100 crore a month.
“Deshmukh got the home minister’s post by accident. Jayant Patil and Dilip Walse-Patil refused to take responsibility. That is why Sharad Pawar selected Anil Deshmukh for the post,” he wrote in his weekly column Rokhthok, PTI reported.
“The (home minister’s) job is not only for accepting salutes but for giving a strong leadership. How can one forget that strong leadership requires honesty. If a junior officer like Sachin Waze was running a (money) collection racket from the Mumbai police commissioner’s office, why was the home minister not aware of it?,” he said.
Nawab Malik defends Deshmukh
Reacting to the article Maharashtra minister and senior NCP leader Nawab Malik defended Deshmukh. “Anil Deshmukh is not an accidental home minister. If shortcomings have been brought forward in an editorial (Saamana), then they should be taken in a positive manner. I think the home minister will work towards overcoming those shortcomings,” Malik was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
“There should have been strictness in handling the department (police) as some officers were acting as per their own will,” he added.
In his eight-page letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, former Mumbai police chief alleged that Deshmukh had called police officers to his official residence several times in the last few months and instructed them to collect Rs 100 crore a month from bars, restaurants and other establishments in Mumbai.
Deshmukh, however, refuted the charges against him and said that he will file a defamation case against Singh for accusing him of corruption.