By Sushil Kutty
Shiv Sena spokesperson Kishore Tiwari sported an angry demeanour when the ‘debate’ turned to ex-Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh’s ‘grilling’ at the hands of the Enforcement Directorate. He did not like that ED sleuths weren’t thinking of Deshmukh’s advanced age. Tiwari kept his frustration writ large on his disapproving face for the entire evening.
Mumbai these days is where all the action is though some of it has fled to Belgium while whatever was left is now in the safe custody of the Mumbai Police. Which is good for Anil Deshmukh who was MIA for months. Deshmukh surfaced just 15 hours before he was placed under arrest by the ED.
The Enforcement Directorate is a central agency and, therefore, suspect in the eyes of the Uddhav Thackeray government. The going belief is state governments not of the BJP blend are prime targets of central agencies, whether ED, CBI or the NCB – all the alphabet soups in the Centre’s armoury.
The allegation is that the Modi Government is using these caged parakeet to destabilize non-BJP state governments. And, if in the process, somebody as harmless as Aryan Khan s/o Shahrukh Khan is also caged, that’s one more jailbird added to the lakhs of caged.
That being said, Anil Deshmukh is not an accident. From the moment he was born he was heading to this ED moment. It’s called ‘karma’. And people normally retire to bed after pronouncing ‘Karma’ on someone. Emotions have no place in the world of Karma.
Anil Deshmukh was arrested under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for allegedly money laundering hundreds of crores allegedly extorted from bar owners when he was Maharashtra Home Minister. Ex-cop Sachin Vaze and shamed to flee former Mumbai Police commissioner Parambir Singh are in the same Deshmukh soup.
But while Vaze got copped out and packed off to Taloja Jail, Parambir Singh is believed to have fled to Belgium. An FIR was lodged against Deshmukh in April 2021, alleging that he “received illegal gratification of approximately Rs 4.7 crore in cash from various orchestra bar owners.”
The conduit was identified as Shiv Sena’s favourite cop “assistant inspector” Sachin Vaze. The extortion spoils were routed to several shell companies which donated them to a charitable trust headed by – you have guessed it – Anil Deshmukh!
To add to the mess, a flat registered in his wife Aarti’s name was also allegedly purchased with the spoils of extortion. There are other damning proof – evidence linked to Desmukh’s alleged illegal acts.
The problem, however, for the Uddhav Thackeray Government and for Anil Deshmukh’s party NCP – as also for Anil Deshmukh – is that, at least in this case, the Modi Government cannot be hanged from the rafters for using the ED because there are too many shades of “criminal” colouring the case for it be just another example of political skulduggery and malicious witch-hunting.
Anil Desmukh’s arrest and possible incarceration is linked to two men with the worst records of perfidy to their names. Both men in khaki with hearts set in greed. What went on behind Chief Minister Thackeray’s back wasn’t an insidious campaign to derail his government, it was to use the cover of government to fill the personal coffers of some people with ill-gotten money.
The Maha Vikas Aghadi Government of Maharashtra is sitting atop a massive pile of mess. That is why NCP supremo Sharad Pawar has gone silent. Why Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is as if he is lost in the labyrinth of governance. Why the Congress portion of the MVA is behaving as if it’s totally in the dark.
That being said, there’s surround sound enough to send the message that underneath the skin the MVA is boiling mad. And NCP minister in the Thackeray government Nawab Malik is proof of the ferocious battle between the MVA and BJP.
Nawab Malik, however, can’t be acting lone wolf. He is operating on somebody’s behest and is not wary of who he is trampling on, and how! It doesn’t matter if the wives of the enemy are forced to commit metaphoric ‘Johar’. The Nawab of Messaging is hell bent on drawing first (and last) blood!
Senior BJP leader and ex-Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s better half Amruta Fadnavis has been fully drawn into the bitter battle with Nawab Malik, who is positively minus any compunction. For him everything is fair in a political war. Quite clearly, the NCP and the MVA have nothing more to do with Anil Deshmukh’s travails, doesn’t matter how Kishore Tiwari feels. (IPA Service)