Mumbai, March 28: Maharashtra cabinet minister Nawab Malik on Sunday responded to Sanjay Raut's "accidental home minister" remark on Anil Deshmukh. Nawab Malik said that Deshmukh is not an accidental home minister. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader said that shortcomings brought in the Saamna editorial should be taken in a positive manner. Notably, Deshmukh is also from the NCP. Param Bir Singh, Ex-Mumbai Police Commissioner, Moves Supreme Court Against His Transfer to Home Guard Department, Seeks Probe Against Anil Deshmukh.
Malik responding to Raut's remark, stated, "Anil Deshmukh is not an accidental home minister. If shortcomings have been brought forward in an editorial (Saamana), then, it should be taken in a positive manner. I think the Home Minister will work towards overcoming those shortcomings."
Earlier in the day, the Shiv Sena MP called Deshmukh an accidental home minister, claiming he got the post after senior NCP leaders like Jayant Patil and Dilip Walse-Patil refused the responsibility. In his weekly column Rokhthok in the party mouthpiece Saamana, Raut 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," Raut wrote in his weekly column. He also raised questions over the Maharashtra Home Minister's alleged links with suspended Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze, who has been arrested in the SUV case and is in NIA custody.
The controversy erupted after former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh was transferred to the Maharashtra Home Guard department. He alleged that Deshmukh had asked Vaze to collect Rs 100 crore from Mumbai's restaurants, bars and hookah bars. However, NCP denied the allegations.