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BJP gets upper hand in Maharashtra as HM Anil Deshmukh resigns

Two ministers had to resign back-to-back within a matter of 37 days as BJP mounted pressure on Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA
Last Updated : 05 April 2021, 12:38 IST
Last Updated : 05 April 2021, 12:38 IST
Last Updated : 05 April 2021, 12:38 IST
Last Updated : 05 April 2021, 12:38 IST

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Nearly one and a half years after Shiv Sena, its oldest ally broke away and joined hands with the Congress-NCP front to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi in Maharashtra, the BJP has been restless. But it managed to score two big goals in quick succession.

Two ministers had to resign back-to-back within a matter of 37 days — first, it was Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Rathod and now, NCP’s Anil Deshmukh. Incidentally, both hail from the Vidarbha region, where the BJP is very strong.

The BJP did not leave any opportunity to target Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray since he became the chief minister on November 28, 2019.

The BJP’s first success came on February 28, 2021, when Rathod, the forest minister and a prominent leader of the Banjara community, had to put down his papers due to his links in the suspicious death of social media star Pooja Chavan.

Now on April 5, 2021, Deshmukh had to resign in the wake of allegations of fixing Rs 100 crore per month ‘collection target’ for assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze, who has been arrested by the NIA for planting a Scorpio laden with gelatin sticks near Antilia, the Mumbai residence of India’s top business Mukesh Ambani and murder of the SUV owner and Thane-based businessman Mansukh Hiren.

On February 7, when Union Home Minister Amit Shah visited Sindhudurg in Konkan at the inauguration of a medical college owned by a trust of BJP Rajya Sabha member Narayan Rane, he held a meeting with Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis, Pravin Darekar and state BJP president Chandrakant Patil, the BJP decided to go all out against the Thackeray government.

Rathod resigned on the eve of the Budget Session of the Maharashtra Legislature. This gave the BJP an upper hand during the session when it mounted pressure on the MVA.

Fadnavis, a former chief minister and home minister launched an attack on the chief minister. However, Thackeray came to the defence of Deshmukh and Vaze saying that “Vaze is not Osama bin Laden”. It needs to be mentioned that in 2008, Vaze was briefly associated with the Shiv Sena. His reinstatement into the police force itself has been questioned.

Thereafter, when the session ended, Fadnavis came out with a copy of a top-secret intelligence report which pointed out that a cartel was operating that was fixing police transfers and promotions in exchange for money.

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Published 05 April 2021, 12:02 IST

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