Anil Deshmukh’s arrest politically motivated, aimed at maligning MVA leaders, says Nawab Malik

Hitting out at the Centre, Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik said scaring leaders by abusing power should be stopped

Former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh’s arrest is politically motivated and aimed at maligning the image of the State’s Maha Vikas Aghadi government leaders, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said on Tuesday.

Hitting out at the Centre, Mr. Malik, a Minister in the Maharashtra government, said scaring leaders by abusing power should be stopped.

“The entire action (of arresting Mr. Deshmukh) is politically motivated. It is aimed at scaring the leaders of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance),” Mr. Malik told reporters.

Mr. Deshmukh was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) late Monday night after over 12 hours of questioning in a money-laundering case linked to an alleged extortion racket in the State police establishment.

“Law will take its course. The truth will someday come out if you implicate people,” Mr. Malik said.

He said the Centre must come clean on former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh, who had accused of Mr. Deshmukh of corruption.

Mr. Singh is missing and two non-bailable warrants have been issued against him in two different cases. In the past, the MVA leaders have accused the Centre’s hand behind Singh’s disappearance.

Mr. Deshmukh’s arrest is seen as a setback to the Uddhav Thackeray-led government in the State. Last month, NCP President Sharad Pawar had accused the Centre of using its agencies to target the MVA regime.

Some leaders of Maharashtra’s ruling alliance are being probed by various Central agencies.

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