Last week, NCP’s Anil Deshmukh had resigned as the home minister after former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh accused him of setting extortion targets for the police.
A day after Sachin Waze, the Mumbai Police officer arrested in connection to the Mukesh Ambani security scare case, accused Shiv Sena Minister Anil Parab of corruption, his party sought to convey that it would not be rattled by such allegations.
Sena leaders stamped out Opposition talk of “another resignation” from the Cabinet. Last week, NCP’s Anil Deshmukh had resigned as the home minister after former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh accused him of setting extortion targets for the police.
Earlier, Sena minister Sanjay Rathod had resigned after he was linked to a woman’s suicide.
“An arrested accused has made accusations against the minister through a letter. Anyone may write anything but it doesn’t mean that the minister should resign,” said a Sena leader, adding that there is no question of Parab resigning.
The leader further said it was clear from Waze’s allegations that the Opposition wanted to target Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray through Parab. The transport minister is known to be close to Thackeray.
“People are well aware of the low-level politics being played by BJP, which has been forced to sit in the Opposition despite having 105 legislators. BJP’s role in the allegations is due to its sheer frustration of not being in power,” the leader said.
Waze, in a letter to the NIA court, had alleged on Wednesday that Parab told him to initiate talks with a Mumbai-based trust to get Rs 50 crore to close an inquiry.
He had also alleged that Parab asked him to inquire into the list of fraudulent contractors in the BMC and collect “at least Rs 2 crore” from around 50 of them.
Another leader acknowledged that the allegations have dented the party’s image, along with that of the minister.
“It may be BJP’s intention to tarnish Sena’s leadership ahead of the BMC elections next year. But the ploy would not work.”
“BJP may make it an election issue but the good work of the government will have a positive impact on the people’s mind. Also, public memory is short. They may not remember these allegations one year down the line,” the leader added.
The leader further said that Parab’s move, in wake of Waze’s accusations – he swore his innocence in the name of late party founder Balasaheb Thackeray – has gone down well among the cadre.
Shiv Sainiks are not rankled by the allegations, the leader added.
“I know Parab and he is a true Shiv Sainik. He will never swear wrongly in the name of Balasaheb Thackeray,” Sanjay Raut, Sena MP and party’s chief spokesperson told mediapersons. He added that dirty politics is being played to destabilise the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, but such attempts would not succeed. Vishwas Waghmode