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    Anil Deshmukh steps down as Maharashtra Home Minister

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    NCP leader Anil Deshmukh has stepped down as Maharashtra Home Minister. The development comes only hours after the Bombay High Court on Monday directed the CBI to conduct a preliminary inquiry into the allegations made by former state DGP Param Bir Singh against Deshmukh.

    “The allegations made by Parambir Singh against Anil Deshmukh are not true. But it is the government’s responsibility to honor the high court’s order for a CBI inquiry. Anil Deshmukh told the party that it was not appropriate to remain in office during the CBI probe. Sharad Pawar has backed Deshmukh’s role and Anil Deshmukh will hand over his resignation to the chief minister,” NCP tweeted confirming the minister’s decision to resign.

    Deshmukh also took to Twitter to post his resignation letter, which has been written in Marathi.

    The high court order, on the petition of Jaishri Patil, asked the CBI on Monday to start a preliminary inquiry within 15 days into the corruption allegations against Deshmukh. The high court had pointed out that Deshmukh was the home minister and no impartial probe can be done by the police, paving way for his resignation.

    Singh had earlier alleged that Deshmukh had asked police officers, including suspended assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze who has been arrested in the case of bomb scare near Mukesh Ambani’s residence, to collect Rs 100 crore each month from bars and restaurants.

    Soon after the court order, BJP leader and former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had demanded Deshmukh’s resignation. The CBI probe will reveal how an extortion racket was carried out with blessings of the government and ministers, he said, adding that all efforts were made to show IPS offices like Singh and Rashmi Shukla, a former SID chief at the centre of a phone tapping controversy, in a bad light.

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