New Delhi: Giving a cryptic reply to a question, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday left people wondering about his purported secret meeting with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar whose coalition government in Maharashtra is rocked by allegations of corruption against the state’s home minister Anil Deshmukh.
“Everything need not be made public,” Shah said during a press briefing when asked about the supposed meeting on Saturday between the veteran Maharashtra politician in Ahmedabad.
Mr Pawar’s NCP is a member of Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition government in Maharashtra that is amidst sensational allegations of corruption against the state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh by former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh.
Mr Singh faced transferred over his increasingly murky revelations involving the security scare near business mogul Mukesh Ambani’s home in Mumbai. Later, the former Mumbai Police chief accused the NCP leader of drafting cops to run an extortion racket worth ₹ 100 crore a month as well as interfering in investigations in a letter to state Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, on March 20. The state Home Minister Mr Deshmukh, however, has dismissed all the allegations against him.
According to Gujarat media, Mr Pawar and his party colleague Praful Patel had met Amit Shah at a farmhouse in Ahmedabad on Saturday.
Mr Shah’s denial of the meeting comes at a time when the BJP party maintains steady pressure on the Maharashtra government and demands President’s rule in the western state over the Ambani security scare case and Param Bir Singh’s allegations against Mr Deshmukh.
Maharashtra coalition government comprised of Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP in being under immense political pressure ever since, Sachin Vaze, assistant police inspector, has been arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection with its probe into the explosives-laden vehicle found parked near industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence on February 25. He is also facing heat in the alleged murder of Thane-based businessman Mansukh Hiran, who owned the vehicle found near Ambani’s house. Hiran was found dead on March 5.
The reports of the meeting also come at a time when the Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ severely criticised the government for its inability to counter allegations against the Home Minister and characterised its damage control plans as “inadequate”.
Meanwhile, countering the alleged charges levelled against hime, state HM Mr Deshmukh told reporters on Sunday that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will order a judicial inquiry into the matter. “Maharashtra Chief Minister has decided that the allegations levelled against me by former Mumbai Police Commissioner will be probed by a retired high court judge,” he had said.