Maharashtra-Karnataka border row: Sanjay Raut calls for all-party visit to Belgaum

NEW DELHI: Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Monday said former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh, whose allegation of corruption against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has triggered a crisis in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, is the “most important weapon” for the opposition right now.

As the demand for Deshmukh’s resignation grew louder, Raut said if the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) feels that there is no evidence against him then what is wrong with it.

“If the government is ready to take up the challenge for a probe then what is the problem,” he posed.

Deshmukh belongs to the NCP.

The NCP has strongly backed Deshmukh and ruled out any possibility of his sacking.

Raut said Singh’s letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray cannot be proof against Deshmukh.

He expressed confidence that the Mahavikas Aghadi government will complete its full term and stressed there was no difference among the alliance partners, the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress.

“Param Bir Singh is an important weapon of the opposition now. Until yesterday, the opposition did not have any trust in him. Look at the opposition statements against him on the Sushant Singh Rajput and Kangana Ranaut cases. But he is a trusted officer for the opposition now.”

“The opposition is trying lodge fireballs at the government. If the opposition wants to fire on the government using Param Bir Singh’s shoulders then it will boomerang,” he said.

When asked about the demand from some quarters to impose President’s rule in the state, Raut said, “Instead, the Centre should be dismissed because this is an encroachment on the rights of the state through its agencies.”

Singh, a senior IPS officer, who was transferred to the low-key Home Guards on March 17 following the arrest of police officer Sachin Waze in the case related to the bomb scare near Mukesh Ambani’s house Antilia, in a letter to the Maharashtra chief minister said he was made a scapegoat.

In the eight-page letter to Chief Minister Thackeray, Singh alleged that Deshmukh used to call police officers to his official residence and give them a “collection target” from bars, restaurants and other establishments.

On Monday, he moved to the Supreme Court seeking a CBI probe into his charges.

In Lok Sabha, Shiv Sena member Vinayak Raut strongly defended the MVA government and claimed that the BJP has been hatching a conspiracy to defame the Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP dispensation for the last 14 months so that a BJP government can be installed there.

“The issue is nothing but a part of BJP’s big conspiracy,” Vinakay Raut claimed.

He also dubbed Singh as the “most corrupt police officer”.

The Maharashtra government on March 17 transferred Singh and appointed senior IPS officer Hemant Nagrale as the new commissioner of Mumbai Police.