- The alliance partners are scheduled to meet this afternoon in New Delhi
- Both Sena and NCP have agreed that allegations will be probed
- NCP leader Sharad Pawar has ruled out Anil Deshmukh's resignation
Here are the top 10 updates on the turn of events in Maharashtra:
NCP chief Sharad Pawar has said state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh was in hospital from February 5 to 15; from February 15 to 27, he was in home isolation in Nagpur. The veteran leader also sought a probe into former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh's allegations that the Home Minister had met city cop Sachin Waze around that time.
Mr Singh has approached the Supreme Court seeking an investigation against Mr Deshmukh for his alleged involvement in an extortion racket. He has also challenged his transfer to the Home Guards last week owing to lapses in the Mukesh Ambani bomb-scare case.
In a letter to the Chief Minister written last week, he had said that Mr Deshmukh had asked the police force to collect Rs 100 crore every month from restaurants and businesses, besides meddling in cases. Mr Waze was allegedly a member of that racket. Mr Deshmukh has now threatened to sue Mr Singh for defamation.
The row around Mr Deshmukh sparked a ruckus in both Houses of Parliament today, with the Rajya Sabha being adjourned due to the din. At least eight BJP MPs raised queries over the matter during Zero Hour in the Lok Sabha, with many demanding the sacking of the state government.
Mr Thackeray has called a meeting of the state law and justice ministry officials at 4.30 pm today. This gains prominence in the wake of his decision to keep a closer eye on the state Home Ministry.
Mr Waze, with a controversial history, probed the Ambani case initially, but was later found by the NIA to have a role in the conspiracy. He had joined the Shiv Sena during an earlier period of suspension in the 2000s.
The suspended cop was closely associated with the Thane businessman Mansukh Hiran, to whom the SUV found on Mumbai's Carmichael Road was traced back, according to NIA. The auto parts dealer had reported the vehicle as stolen a week before it was found near Mr Ambani's residence.
Mr Hiran was found dead in a Thane creek on March 5. The Maharashtra ATS has arrested a former cop, now on furlough, and a bookie in this connection. The businessman's wife had alleged Mr Waze's involvement in his death. She also alleged that the cop had used the same SUV for four months till returning it on February 5.
Referring to Mr Waze, the Maharashtra Chief Minister had earlier this month asked, "Is he Osama bin Laden?" The NCP chief had also reportedly questioned the Sena's involvement with a person as dodgy as Mr Waze.
The Shiv Sena had earlier questioned the need for the NIA to probe the Ambani bomb scare case, which, it said, the Maharashtra ATS could have handled. The NIA has now taken over the case of Mr Hiran's death, too.
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